AH20210 Perspectives on Irish Art: From Medieval to Modern

Academic Year 2024/2025

*** Not available in the academic year indicated above ***

This module examines the range of art and architecture produced in Ireland in the medieval period from its early beginnings in the fourth century AD to the 16th century and the revivals and re-interpretations of this ‘Celtic’ art in the 18th to 20th centuries. It addresses how Insular art and monastic culture was affected by events in Irish history such as the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century and the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. The impact of antiquarianism and Celtic Revivalism in the 19th and 20th centuries in reviving awareness and interest in early Irish art is a major theme in the course, as is the notion of an 'Irish Imagination' in modern Irish art. Setting these within international contexts, the course analyses how these major manifestations of Irish art have contributed to and challenged notions of Irish cultural identity. The course includes site visits to major museums and galleries in the city of Dublin and to the Irish Folklore collection in UCD.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of module students should be able to
• Identify and contextualise the major works associated with the Golden Age of Irish art and the Celtic Revival and modern period.
- Understand and explain the main stylistic developments in Irish art in the medieval period and the Celtic Revival and modern period.
- Have a knowledge of the international influences on key facets of Irish art in medieval and modern periods.
- Be aware of the role of antiquarianism in the dissemination of Irish art from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.
- Be aware of the major connections between Celtic art and Irish national identity.

Indicative Module Content:

1. Context of the Medieval World and the development of Ireland at the crossroads of Europe
2. The Early Irish Church
3. Irish Antiquarians and Sources of the Irish Church in Europe, ‘perigrini’ and scholars and Special Collections in UCD Library
4. Romanesque and Gothic in Ireland
5. Late Medieval and transition into the early modern period
6. Antiquarianism in 18th and 19th centuries.
7. Visual art associated with the Celtic Revival and independence
8. Modernist versions of Celtic art

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures and seminars will be delivered face to face. Site visits and object analysis will be an integral part of the course. Supporting material will be available on Brightspace.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Art History majors should not take any Stage 2 or 3 Art History modules until they have completed their Stage 1 Art History requirements.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Mid term review and end of semester feedback. It is incumbent on any undergraduate student who fails this module to contact the lecturer concerned to announce their attention to resit, and to obtain details of resit assignments. Any resit/ repeat registration/ fee issues should be dealt with by the Arts programme office.

Name Role
Ms Carla Briggs Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Roisin Kennedy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer