Accompanying an exhibition at Nashville's Frist Art Museum, this lavishly illustrated volume is the first major study in English to explore manuscript illumination, painting, and sculpture in Europe's first university city--Bologna--in the late Middle Ages. Beginning in the late eleventh century, masters and students flocked to Bologna to study Roman law, creating the academic setting that gave rise to the city's unique artistic culture. Professors enjoyed high social status, tombs carved with classroom scenes made for impressive lecture halls, and, most important, teachers and students created a tremendous demand for books. By the mid-thirteenth century, the city had become the preeminent center for manuscript production in Italy. In Medieval Bologna, essays by academics, curators, and educators create rich context for the nearly seventy works of art in the exhibition. Drawn primarily from American libraries, museums, and private collections, many of the works have never been studied or published before. The authors discuss the illustrious foreign artists called to work in the city, most notably Cimabue and Giotto; the devastating impact of the Black Death; and the political resurgence of Bologna at the end of the fourteenth century that led to the construction of the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the largest churches in the world. In a captivating illustrated tour of medieval Bologna--its porticoed streets, stunning piazzas, mendicant churches, and more--the authors show us how the city became a center for higher learning and expand our understanding of art in the medieval world.