Course Outline

Workers Educational Association
London & Southern Region, 57 Riverside 2, Sir Thomas Longley Road,
Rochester, ME2 4DP Telephone: 01634 298600
E-mail: london&
Course Outline
Course Title
Life and Love in Late-Medieval Art, Pt II
Course ID
Start date
No. of sessions
Hours per session
Nicola Lowe
Tuesdays, 2-4 pm
Venue: Compass Theatre, Glebe Avenue, Ickenham
Ruislip and Ickenham
contact details,uk
Publicity Description
Despite its religious subject matter, medieval art brims with information about ordinary life.
Always fascinating, often humorous, even bawdy, we examine a range of images including
stained glass and illuminated manuscripts and explore the complex social messages they
Course Aims
To provide a way of ‘reading’ the art of late-medieval Europe that looks for meaning
beyond the (usually religious) subject matter and finds information about the social lives of
our medieval forbears.
Main Topics Covered
Alongside the ubiquitous Madonnas and saints we find an extensive supporting cast drawn
from all sections of society and engaged in activities that range from the sublime to the
We look at depictions of work and leisure, clothing, medicine, travel, food and drink, town
and countryside, love and war
Without ignoring the religious content, the main thrust of our study will be to explore the
social messages contained in these images.
We will also cover aspects of production.
We finish with a look at early-Renaissance marriage portraits
Essential costs/materials
Please bring note-taking materials including a clipboard if possible, and a folder for
handouts. One classroom session will be replaced by a field trip to a London art gallery.
Entry will be free but students will need to pay their own travel costs .
The World of the Luttrell Michelle Brown
Medieval Art,
Veronica Sekules,
British Library, 2006
OUP, 2001
Pre-course preparation: reading, internet research etc.
No preparation is required but students may find the above books and these websites
useful. - Web Gallery of Art. Searchable database of European medieval art
images - Searchable database of
medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts held by the British Library
Entry Requirements/Level
This course continues the themes of part I but each part is self-contained. You may enrol
on this course regardless of whether you have done part I or not. It is taught at Level
Qualification gained
Awarding Body
Teaching and learning methods used
Teaching methods will include illustrated tutor talks, analysis of images and texts, class
discussion, small group work, independent study and class presentations. An important
component of the course will be a field trip to a relevant art gallery.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course learners will be able to:
1. Identify by name, approximate date and medium, at least 3 of the objects used as case
studies during the term.
2. Tell a medieval joke.
3. Describe the cultural meaning of different locations such as a building, garden or
wilderness in late-medieval art.
4. Explain how depictions of food, clothing or medicine contribute to our knowledge of
medieval society.
5. Explain how religious paintings such as Nativity scenes can tell us about gender roles
in late-medieval Europe.
How you will know what you have learnt
Regular recap and self-assessment activities are built into the programme. Informal
feedback in the form of question and answer is part of every session.
Suggested Further Study and Progression Routes
Related general interest courses offered by the WEA such as ‘Life and Love in
Renaissance Art’.
You will have good experience of the socio-cultural approach to Art History and this will
provide a sound basis for following an accredited course of study in this area with Birkbeck
College, the City Lit, Open University or other similar institution.
Brief tutor profile
Nicola Lowe has a BA in English and French and an MA in Art History She is a former
television producer and now combines her work with the WEA with freelance lecturing and
writing. Her current research interests are women and art in medieval Europe.
If you would like more information about other WEA courses, please contact
WEA London and Southern Regions Support Centre
You can now enrol and pay online. Go to:
The WEA is committed to equality of opportunity and inclusive learning.
WEA London and Southern Regions' Support Centre
57 Riverside 2, Sir Thomas Longley Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 4DP
Tel: 01634 298600 Fax: 01634 298601 email: london&
The Workers' Educational Association is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in
Scotland (number SC039239) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 2806910)