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East-West, South-North, on Cultural Exchange from 700 to 1800


Admission requirements

Not applicable


This course concentrates on cultural exchange and transfer of art and architecture, materials, technics and motifs from 700 to 1800. We will focus on two axes: east-west and south-north, as well as on towns, courts and the church, the key areas of interest within the Leiden Art History curriculum.
The first part is taught by Dr. Elizabeth den Hartog and has as its theme the cultural transfer between the Christian West, Byzantium and the Muslim East from the 8th century until 1800. We will be looking at cities like Jerusalem, Damascus, Cordoba and Palermo. Of course, the reconquista of Spain, Charlemagne’s interactions with the Muslim world, the crusades, the Fall of Constantinople and so on will be be dealt with. We will also be comparing the Alhambra in Granada with the Alcazar in Seville and the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul with the palace of Versailles.

The second part is taught by Dr. Juliette Roding and focuses on the mobility of artists and architects, cultural transfer and exchange in Europe, from c.1550-1800. After an introduction on the theoretical framework, we will study travelling, religious and economic refugees, networks of commissioners, artist’s (family) networks, etc. Topics included are, for example, the influence of the Duytsche Mathematique all over Europe (impact on town and country, diking), Netherlandish artists and architects at the courts of Europe, international artists’ communities in important European towns, and the spread of the ‘Floris’-style in the churches of northern Europe (funeral monuments and epitaphs).

Course objectives

  • To train your academic skills, i.e. to get an insight in the historiography of this subject

  • To learn how to find, read and evaluate critically the relevant literature;

  • To reflect and theorize on the subject;

  • To think up and work out a case study;

  • To present this case study in class with the use of powerpoint;

  • To learn how to evaluate presentations of other students and act as a referee;

  • To write an academic paper.

  • To give students an insight in how to deal with comparative art history

  • To give an insight into the cultural worlds of east and west and how they interact

  • To give an insight how cultural transfer and exchange took place in medieval and Early Modern Europe


The timetable is available on the master Arts and Culture website

Mode of instruction

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture;

  • Seminar;

  • Excursion

Attendance is compulsory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of two seminars, provided they present a valid reason beforehand. Students who have missed more than two seminars will have to apply to the Examination Board of the Ma Arts and Culture in order to obtain permission to further follow and complete the course.

Course Load

Course load 10 EC 280 hours

  • 2 x 7 lectures of 3 hours = 14 lectures = 42 hours

  • Obligatory literature 5 x 14 = 70 hours

  • Excursion part a 8 hours

  • Excursion part b 8 hours

  • Two papers of 2000 words each dealing with a subject pertaining to each of the two parts of the course; 150 hours

  • Tutoring 2 hours

  • ResMa students that take this course will write a paper that reflects the demands of the Research Master. That is, they will have to formulate more complex and original research questions than the MA students, include a critical positioning towards the state of the art of its subject, and produce a longer paper (5000 words including bibliography instead of 4000 words).

Assessment method

  • 2 draft papers (together 10%)

  • 2 small assignments and discussions in class (together 20%)

  • 2 papers, 2000 words each (ResMa students 2500 words each) (together 70%)

Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructors.


The final grade is the average of the three grades (10%, 30%, 70%). A student passes the class if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.


The re-sit consists of two parts: a re-sit for the paper (70%) and/or an alternative assignment (30%).

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


On Blackboard students will find the course schedule, an overview of the set literature, the assignments, excursions with times and meeting places and so on. Following the seminars we will also make available the Powerpoints used in class.

Reading list

A reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course and will be posted on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. You can register until two weeks after classes have started however students are advised to register as soon as possible and preferably before the start of the course. In the case of electives: please be aware that most electives have a maximum amount of students who can enroll. Do not approach the course instructor in case the class is full. You will automatically be put on a waiting list.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Mw. dr. Elizabeth den Hartog Mw. dr. J.G. Roding