Art history class essay-Byzantine Icons
Assignment: Choose one of the questions below and write a 3-4 page, double spaced essay. For your answer draw from lectures, discussion sections, the assigned readings, and the Met timeline when pertinent. Use MLA in text citation for references or quotations drawn from the assigned readings. MLA in-text citation style uses the author’s last name and the page number from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken, for example: (Smith 163). For the Met timeline, include a footnote with the http link where you found the idea or quote.
Approach: We are looking for composed and thoughtful essays with clearly defined theses and points of view. Please underline your thesis. Remember to use the question as a starting point, but do not simply restate it as your thesis. Choose your examples of art and architecture carefully to make sure they work together in your essay to help develop your thesis. Think hard about what the question is asking you to demonstrate. Remember that even if the question does not explicitly ask you for historical information, we assume that you will frame your answer with the relevant background information that you have learned in class. For instance, Question #1 assumes that in answering, you will provide the historical context to which it refers and to the reading (Cormack) that explores debates about icons in the Byzantine period. It would not be enough to simply list which icons were acceptable and not acceptable with a few characteristics for each. You must provide the historical background in which these decisions and ideas about icons were debated and worked out. Y
#1 What kinds of icons (in the Byzantine Empire) were deemed more acceptable than others and why? In your essay you should examine in depth two examples of icons discussed in class and in readings to address the question.
#2 What special powers do (Christian) reliquaries grant to relics and vice versa? In your essay you should discuss in depth three example of relics/reliquaries from the art and architecture we have seen in class to develop your thesis/argument.
#3 In what ways did church architecture and decoration in the Romanesque and Gothic periods address the practices of pilgrimage? In developing your essay you should discuss three examples of art and architecture seen in class.
#4 How do Medieval manuscripts (from Hiberno-Saxon to late Medieval French) depict/imagine both the ideal and less than ideal relationship between words and images? In developing your essay you should discuss three examples of manuscript illumination seen and discussed in class and readings.
Requirements: 3-4pages, MLA