Early Medieval Art and Architecture in Portugal

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Please write a “Response Paper” that discusses the assigned reading “Islam, Christianity, and the Problem of Religious Art” by Jerrilynn D. Dodds. In 250-500 words, you should summarize the main arguments of the essay and characterize the author’s scholarly approach and methodology. Please also consider in detail the analysis of the Braga pyxis and the Braga chalice and paten and present your thoughts on these objects of luxury art.



Here are four points to consider and discuss:

1. What are some of the defining features of the political, religious, social and economic situation on the Iberian Peninsula during the early medieval period? What is Portugal’s relation to these larger trends? Why would we begin this course with readings about the entire Iberian Peninsula and not with readings focused exclusively on Portugal?

2. Discuss some of the many ways in which the historical circumstances of the period, referred to in the question posed above, had an impact on the art and architecture produced in Portugal. Please describe specific works of art and architecture that support your ideas. You can think in broad or specific terms about such topics as geography, artists, quality of craftsmanship, medium, technique, style, scale, etc. You should think about the concepts introduced in the readings and try to see how they relate to the works of art and architecture presented in the lecture notes and PowerPoint.

3. Based on your readings you should be familiar with the idea of cross-cultural artistic exchange. How do different scholars understand it and what is their attitude towards it? How does it work? Please provide specific historical examples from the readings. Were there similarities and differences between artistic exchanges within Europe versus artistic within the Islamic world? How does the reuse of art from different cultures, religions or periods help define the idea of artistic exchange for this period?

4. Mozarabic art and architecture is one of the most important contributions of the Iberian Peninsula to the history of medieval art in Europe. Please discuss your understanding of Mozarabic art from your readings and, again, provide specific examples from Portugal from the lecture notes and PowerPoint. Also, please try to characterize Romanesque art and architecture as it emerged in Portugal. What were some of the ideological implications of the use of this style which replaced Mozarabic?

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