Medieval Women: Myth and Reality

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

This six-week art history course will explore how and why women appear in a rich variety of guises in medieval images and challenge the popular myth that medieval society was wholly misogynistic.

In this medieval course learn from our world-class experts wherever you are, whenever suits you: watch lectures live or view the recording later in your own time. You can experience the full breadth and depth of the V&A's collections with 12 hours of study over 6 weeks. Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials, lecture notes, copies of the presentations, and additional study materials are available in our secure Microsoft Teams environment for 6 weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a thing. And finally, join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

Read more
course photo

Course Leaders
Dr Sally Dormer & Dr Teresa Lane.

Dr Sally Dormer, V&A Academy Course Director, and Dr Teresa Lane (The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London), with contributions from Dr Alexandra Gajewski (The Burlington Magazine) and Michaela Zöschg (V&A Curator of Medieval Art).

Learning is the most wonderful thing in life and your courses are such high quality. Previous V&A Academy Student

Course overview

The paradoxical nature of women permeated the medieval world view. In the spiritual realm some, like the Virgin Mary and other female saints, were revered and promoted as role models. Others, such as Eve, were regarded as sinful femme fatales. This judgemental view undoubtedly coloured societal attitudes towards women in the Middle Ages but did not prevent them from exerting enormous influence on the visual arts. The V&A’s rich medieval collections feature a wide range of biblical, literary, historical, and contemporary women as protagonists, patrons and producers and will provide a starting point for this course.


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: Medieval Women: Myth and Reality

18 April 2024 - 23 May 2024


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)

Related events