Western Civilization: A Critical Guide to Documentary Films

By Neil M. Heyman | Go to book overview

LATER MIDDLE AGES
Art of the Middle Ages (Art and Architecture series)
30 minutes color
1963 Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation

Summary: An ambitious but static and verbose effort to examine the thought patterns of the Middle Ages through the art of the time


Grade: C +

The film is a lecture by art critic John Canaday accompanied by views of medieval works of art, notably the sculptures found in six of the great cathedrals of France. Canaday's lecture also employs maps and cartoon models. The basic theme of the film is the intellectual distance separating our scientific age from the age of religious faith that the medieval era represented. Canaday attempts to analyze the components of that religious faith through medieval art.

Canaday begins the film by noting that we are intellectually far removed from the medieval era of mystical faith. In contrast we are closer to the practical concern and worldly ambition that characterized the societies of the ancient world and the Renaissance.

Using six French cathedrals, Canaday examines the nature of the Middle Ages. He considers the religious themes and the artistic styles seen in the statuary of the cathedrals. He attempts to define and explain the difference between the Romanesque architecture seen in cathedrals built before 1200 and the more elegant Gothic cathedrals that appeared in large numbers starting in the thirteenth century. Examining a surviving architect's sketchbook and the painting of the Annunciation by Robert Campin, Canaday explores medieval technology and religious belief.

-41-

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Western Civilization: A Critical Guide to Documentary Films
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Pre-History 1
  • Ancient Greece 7
  • Ancient Rome 21
  • Christianity and Judaism 27
  • Early Middle Ages 33
  • Later Middle Ages - Art of the Middle Ages (Art and Architecture series) 41
  • Fourteenth Century 61
  • The Renaissance 65
  • Reformation and Counter-Reformation 81
  • Sixteenth Century: Wars, Politics, the Age of Discovery 89
  • Seventeenth Century 105
  • Eighteenth Century, French Revolution, and Napoleon 119
  • Nineteenth Century 137
  • Early Twentieth Century 155
  • World War I and the Aftermath 165
  • The Dictatorships 175
  • World War II and the Holocaust 191
  • Post-World War II Era 217
  • SUBJECT INDEX 223
  • SERIES INDEX 239
  • TITLE INDEX 241
  • About the Author 245
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