Early Medieval and Islamic Art

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Special note: Religion can be a sensitive subject. Please be tactful and courteous to your fellow students.

In this module we looked at two developments in the Early Middle Ages (ca. 410-1000): the Carolingian Empire and the Islamic Empire. How do they compare in terms of cultural context and artistic development?

To explore these issues, compare two works of art or architecture from each empire. If they are works of art, what does their function, style, and subject mattertell us about the similarities and differences of these two cultures (their contexts)?

Suggestions include the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne vs the Great Mosque of Cordoba. How do they compare in terms of location, function, design and decorations? What elements are recycled from earlier styles and what are innovative? What do these two buildings tell us about their respective cultures? How are they typical or not for their period?

Be sure to paraphrase the information you research into your own words and add your own analysis.

palatine chapel of charlemagne

Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne, Aachen, ca. 800.

Dome Cordoba

Detail of the dome in front of the Moqsura, Great Mosque of Cordoba, ca. 750-1000

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Tags: history
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