Romanesque Art and Architecture in France: A Three Part Course with Dr. Guillaume Durand

Romanesque Art and Architecture in France: A Three Part Course with Dr. Guillaume Durand


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after each event.

Join Guillaume Durand on a multi-part course through the architectural creations and masterpieces of Romanesque France, most of them part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Based on an in-depth study of artworks chosen from three main regions, we will understand how the Romanesque period, centered around the 11th -13th centuries, first developed in the context of the strengthening of local dynasties, including the Capetian one in the Paris region and then how this art style, which preceded the Gothic style, corresponds to a real intellectual, cultural and artistic Renaissance. 

Each conversation of this course will carry us to a different region of France in order to discover its Romanesque treasures, illustrating also the diversity of these Romanesque approaches and styles. Each example taken will be the occasion not only to talk about art and architecture but also to get a deeper understanding of the Medieval mind. Topics that will be covered include the Gregorian reform, the spread of monasticism (with the Clunisian and Cistercian orders), and the cult of Relics as well as Romanesque symbolism and its meaning. 

Led by Guillaume Durand, Ph.D., archaeologist and (art) historian, located in Provence, France, this three-part course will provide an in-depth understanding of Romanesque art and architecture, usually less known in comparison to its successful successor the Gothic style. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with a real understanding of how Medieval, and in some respect, Modern, Western Europe shaped and slowly turned towards Christian nations. 

Lecture One – The Origins of Romanesque Art in the Pyrenees and South Western France
Our discussion begins in the original region where Romanesque art developed in the 11th century. There, in the Pyrenees at Saint-Génis-les-Fontaines and Saint-André-de-Sorède, we will discover the earliest sculptures considered by art historians as belonging to this Romanesque style. We will then keep on our discovery of the Southwestern region of France, visiting the abbeys and churches built on the pilgrimage road to Saint-James of Compostela: Saint-Peter at Moissac and its exceptional portal and cloister composed of 76 decorated capitals; the portal displaying the Last Judgement of Sainte-Foy at Conques and the Saint-Sernin at Toulouse Basilica whose vaults reach 70 feet / 21 meters in height, almost as elevated as Notre-Dame de Paris.

Lecture Two – The Spread of the Benedictine Order of Cluny in Burgundy
Traveling then to the core of where the Gregorian reform was implemented in the late 11th century, Burgundy displays two exceptional abbeys: the Basilica of Saint-Mary-Magdalene at Vézelay with its remarkable portal of the Evangelization of the World and Saint-Lazarus at Autun known for the works of one of the few Romanesque sculptors known today, Gislebertus.

Lecture Three – Between Roman Antiquity and Middle-Ages: The Height of Romanesque Art in Provence

 We will finish our tour with a stop in Provence, a region deeply influenced by its Roman past. There, Romanesque sculpture and architecture imitate the Roman canons forecasting in a way the future coming of the Renaissance, such as on the portal of Saint-Trophime at Arles. The cloister of the cathedral of Aix-en-Provence, with its historiated capitals, will make us understand how the canons of the chapter of the cathedral have created a history of the Church with stone images. We will then finish this three-part course in the serenity, calm atmosphere, and almost undecorated architecture of the Cistercian monasteries of Sénanque, Silvacane, and Le Thoronet. 

Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand, Ph.D. has long-standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide and lecturer in this country for French citizens.

How does it work?
This is an eight-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.
Is there a reading list in advance?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided at the course's conclusion. 
How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 60 minutes long with time for Q&A.
How much is the course?
The course is $150 USD for 3 lectures.
Is a recording available?
Yes. If you need to miss a lecture, you will be sent a recording after the event. It will be available to re-watch at leisure, until 30 days after the course's conclusion.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
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(6)
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Ivelisse Gilman (Newport News, US)
A trip back to the Middle Ages

I loved the presentation on Romanesque Art in France. At times, I felt a connection with the artisans who sculpted the figures at the entrance of the Romanesque churches because of what seemed a little bit like a sense of humor on their part. I will sign up for other courses with this teacher.

G
G.G. (Seattle, US)
Romanesque art and architecture

I enjoyed this presentation except for missing part 2 (my fault).

A
A. (Beverly, US)
Fantastic series!

Fantastic series on a topic I previously could muster little enthusiasm for. But I trusted in the expert and sure enough Guillaume made it all come alive - providing an energetic and engaging presentation of the material, setting it in its historical context, and explaining why it mattered. So fabulous. Sign up for anything Guillaume offers.

J
J.G. (Genoa City, US)
Excellent Course on French Romanesque Art & Architecture

Dr. Durand presented a wonderful detailed overview of French Romanesque art and architecture covering three distinct regions in France. He provided excellent historical background information and his slides were comprehensive and well-labeled. Guillaume also provided a printed bibliography and answered all questions. I highly recommend this course and look forward to many more seminars and courses presented by Dr. Durand.

K
K.S.

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
100%
(6)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
I
Ivelisse Gilman (Newport News, US)
A trip back to the Middle Ages

I loved the presentation on Romanesque Art in France. At times, I felt a connection with the artisans who sculpted the figures at the entrance of the Romanesque churches because of what seemed a little bit like a sense of humor on their part. I will sign up for other courses with this teacher.

G
G.G. (Seattle, US)
Romanesque art and architecture

I enjoyed this presentation except for missing part 2 (my fault).

A
A. (Beverly, US)
Fantastic series!

Fantastic series on a topic I previously could muster little enthusiasm for. But I trusted in the expert and sure enough Guillaume made it all come alive - providing an energetic and engaging presentation of the material, setting it in its historical context, and explaining why it mattered. So fabulous. Sign up for anything Guillaume offers.

J
J.G. (Genoa City, US)
Excellent Course on French Romanesque Art & Architecture

Dr. Durand presented a wonderful detailed overview of French Romanesque art and architecture covering three distinct regions in France. He provided excellent historical background information and his slides were comprehensive and well-labeled. Guillaume also provided a printed bibliography and answered all questions. I highly recommend this course and look forward to many more seminars and courses presented by Dr. Durand.

K
K.S.

Guest did not leave comment