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Art History: The Middle Ages

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Art History – Middle Ages

This class is part of the full year Art History series.
You do not have to take the classes in this series in any specific order, but it is recommended that students at least take the Intro to Art course before beginning the Art History series.

Other classes in this series include:
Art History: Ancient Civilizations
Art History: Indigenous Americas
Art History: Renaissance Masters


This Medieval Art History class is a focused course in the Next Level Homeschool Art History Series. This course will act as an introductory course into the art and architecture of Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages. This course will teach students how to identify the trademarks of the art of the Medieval period, interpret those works of art using art historical methods of observation, comparison, and inductive reasoning, and then relate those aspects to their distinct cultural, economic, and political contexts.

Studying the works of art and architecture of the Medieval period helps us to understand the lives and culture of the peoples that lived during this transitional period of human history. This class is intended to connect the timeline from the Ancient Period, through the Middle Ages, and into the Renaissance.

This class will serve as a base for students to build future explorations into the artistic practices and famous works of this time period of human history. Students will gain a better understanding for how to discuss art through the perspective of an art historian.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1: Medieval Art
The first lesson of the course will explore early Medieval art in Europe. Students will learn about artistic styles of such civilizations as the Norse, Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and we will even explore the Viking era. We will take a look at early Christian, Jewish, and Muslim art, including religious texts and images. Students will get to take a closer look at some of the first known illustrated manuscripts from the Western world.

Week 2: Islamic Art
The second week of the class will explore Islamic art and architecture of the Islamic Golden Age during the Middle Ages. Students will learn about such iconic works of architecture as The Kaaba in Mecca, The Dome of the Rock, and The Great Mosque of Cordoba, including distinct elements of Islamic architectural style. We will also explore Islamic mosaic, ceramic, metal, and glass art, as well as book and manuscript art, including calligraphy and decorated Qur’an manuscripts.

Week 3: Romanesque Art
This week will explore the Romanesque period in Europe. Students will learn about Romanesque era architecture, which set the foundation for the future of Gothic architecture. We will also take a look into the unique features of Romanesque sculptural, architectural, and mosaic styles. This lesson will also explore those most famous examples of textile and manuscript art that hallmarked this period of European art history.

Week 4: Gothic Architecture
The third week of the class will focus on the origins of the Gothic Age in France and England. The lesson will explore the Age of Cathedrals, including iconic elements of Gothic architecture and stain-glass windows. Students will learn about such historical Gothic icons such as the Chartres Cathedral and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Remis in France, and the Salisbury Cathedral in England. We will explore other works of art from the Gothic period in Europe, focusing on sculptures, paintings, and manuscript art.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to recognize the difference in artistic styles from the Early Medieval period to the late Gothic period—from architecture and sculpture, to manuscripts and religious texts and images, to painting techniques—students will learn the development of art history which brought the Western world out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, which would follow the Gothic period.

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule Spring 2024
  • Activities History
  • Lessons 4
  • Suggested Ages 10-17 One Level