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Romance Literature and the Arts of the Middle Ages Sally Dormer Thursday 15 November 2018


15 November 2018
 - Sally Dormer

1030am - 3.30pm

Southampton City Art Gallery

£25 per day or £125 for the full course of 5 days including coffee/tea

Please see here to book.

Romance Literature and the Arts of the Middle Ages

Stories concerning the art of chivalry and courtly love were immensely popular during the Middle Ages, perhaps because they provided a welcome escape from the real world which was typically governed by strict social convention. Such tales were disseminated across Europe by word of mouth until the 12th century when troubadours like Chrétian of Troyes and Golried von Strasbourg committed them, in the vernacular, to parchment. As literacy developed in the 13th century, romance literature increased in popularity amongst lay and ecclesiastical patrons alike, and illustrations derived from such narratives abounded in various contexts, including illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, ceramic floor tiles, ivory caskets and mirror cases, wall hangings and even wedding quilts.

This study day will comprise three sessions, each focused on a specific romance or group of romance texts: the exploits of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table the adulterous romance of the star-crossed lovers Tristan and Isolde, and the Roman de la Rose, an allegorical, best-selling romance written in 13th century France. An exploration of how these texts were depicted in the arts will shed light on the social structures and mores of the medieval world.