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The Middle Ages in Art and Literature Introduction The medieval period stretching from the Dark Ages through the High Middle Ages is both familiar and alien to the modern American Examination of the art and literature of the period can help the modern student to gain a fuller appreciation of the life and people of those times Such examination reveals that there are both similarities among and differences between modern times and medieval days In this paper I discuss medieval art works found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters with descriptions of medieval life provided by Chaucer in his Prologue to the Canterbury Tales Many of the images found in Chaucers text are also found in the art works of the time In addition both the art works and the literature illustrate certain elements of medieval life such as the important role of religion in both public and private life This is one way that medieval times are not very different than modern times The art works discussed in detail in this essay are Tapestry with the Annunciation Aquamanile in the Form of a Mounted Knight and Figures in a Rose Garden found at the Metropolitan Museum and Five Worthies and Attendant Figures and The Hours of Jeanne dEvreux found at the Cloisters However insights gained by walking through the relevant exhibits are also discussed Life and Times Chaucers Prologue to The Canterbury Tales provides a vivid portrait of a point in time shared by many people The people may be seen as types but also have individual characteristics They are identified primarily by their occupations Even so they are very realistic and lively giving the sense of a diverse array of people interacting and joining together to make a whole The Hours of Jeanne dEvreux is an illuminated manuscript of a prayer book It was made between 1320 and 1324 Portions of the manuscript are on display at The Cloisters The
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