2023 Romanesque to Gothic: European Art 1050-1250

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Explore the glorious variety of Romanesque and Early Gothic art including gilded enamels from the Meuse valley, glittering mosaics in Norman Sicily, and the soaring vaults of Chartres Cathedral.

  • Learn from our world-class experts wherever, whenever: watch lectures live or view the recording later in your own time.

  • Breadth and depth: more than 40 hours of study over 12 weeks.

  • Consolidate your learning: download lecture notes, copies of the presentations, and additional study materials from our secure Microsoft Teams learning environment.

  • Join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

  • Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials are available for up to 12 weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a minute.

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course photo
Portrait of Course Director Dr Sally Dormer

Course Director
Dr Sally Dormer

Dr Sally Dormer is a specialist medieval art historian and lecturer, with an M.A. in Medieval Art History and Ph.D. on Medieval manuscript illumination from the Courtauld Institute. Sally has taught for the Art Fund, the Arts Society, Art Pursuits, Cox & Kings, Ciceroni, Swan Hellenic, and Gresham College.

I find Dr Dormer’s lectures consistently clear and illuminating. Previous Romanesque to Gothic course attendee

Course overview

This twelve-week online course covers the period between 1050 and 1250, inspired by the V&A's abundant medieval collections.

Between 1050 and 1150 Europe witnessed unprecedented investment in Romanesque church buildings, many inspired by Roman monuments, and the rebirth of architectural sculpture with plentiful regional variation.

The “New” style of architecture (termed “Gothic” from the 17th century) emerged in mid-12th century Paris. Craftsmen de-materialized Romanesque massiness, making buildings that reached new heights with increasingly light-filled interiors. Paris was the epicentre of new ideas, subsequently adopted by neighbouring realms. Figurative art changed profoundly from dynamic Romanesque design to something more natural, even classical; a revolution prompted by seismic shifts in theological philosophy, urban and commercial growth, increased literacy, and monasticism’s decline, although the new mendicant orders were influential after 1220.

Relations between East and West deteriorated as the Crusading movement increased in zeal. The Sack of Constantinople in 1204 heralded the Byzantine Empire’s nadir and an influx of Byzantine influence, especially in Italy.


V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

Enrol now

Online course: 2023 Romanesque to Gothic: European Art 1050-1250

21 April 2023 - 7 July 2023


Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)