Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0233 (AF:354298 AR:190214)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Term
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The course is scheduled among the fundamental art-historical disciplines in the Master’s Degree Programme in Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Performing Art Managment, and it is the first module of the teaching History of Medieval Art (12 cfu), followed by the second module History of Medieval Art 2.
The course aims to give the basic knowledge of Italian and European Art History, from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Major works of art will be described and discussed with emphasis on material aspects, historical periodization and geographic context, as well as to their function and, more generally, into the frame of cultural meaning. Majors artists will find a specific treatment. The course will provide tools for using techincal vocabulary and basic methodology in art history. The course will provide a brief introduction to the tools for research in Art History (catalogs, bibliographies, encyclopedias, databases, etc..).
In particular, the course aims to develop the following skills:
knowledge and understanding: knowledge of terminology; knowledge of main artists' poetic and works of art, groups and movements in the field of visual arts from the Fifties to nowadays;
1) ability to apply knowledge and understanding: knowledge of how to recognize figurative works and styles; place the works in their historical and geographical context;
2) ability to elaborate personal analysis on the identification of iconographic themes and their iconological meaning; to be able to argue with full ownership of language and formal analysis
3) learning skills: being able to understand how to connect a work of art or an author to cultural and artistic movements / groups or to a specific cultural moment, making comparisons between different works of art, authors and themes;
4) communication skills: knowing how to use an appropriate and specific terminology, introduced and explained at lesson or on recommended texts and books.
No expected prerequisites for attending the course
The course will focus on Early Christian Period; “Barbarian” Art; Carolingian and Ottonian Art; Romanesque age; Gothic age; International Gothic. Through a selective examination of the main monuments, the most important works and artists, the course aims to introduce the key themes of Medieval Art and provide tools for the recognition of the artworks and their periodization, basic information on iconography and iconology as well as historiography and art critics.
P. De Vecchi, E. Cerchiari, Arte nel tempo, Milano, Bompiani, 2006 [1991] (vol. 1, tomo I, Dalla preistoria alla Tarda Antichità, pp. 240-299; vol. 1, tomo II, Arte nel tempo. Il Medioevo, tutto; vol. 2, tomo I, Arte nel tempo. Dal Gotico internazionale alla Maniera Moderna, pp. 1-45.

Four (4) readings to be choosen among those in the lessons 3, 6, 9, 14 (one reading for each week/period): Week 1: Late Antiquity and Early Christian art (lesson 3); Week 2: Art of Early Middle Ages (lesson 6); Week 3 Romanesque Art (lesson 9); Gothic Art (lesson 14).

Studens not attending lessons are requested to study and discuss also one monograph in the list below:
M. Bacci, Lo spazio dell'anima. Vita di una chiesa medievale, Bari, Laterza, 2005;
M. Baxandall, Giotto e gli umanisti : gli umanisti osservatori della pittura in Italia e la scoperta della composizione pittorica 1350 – 1450, Milano, Jaca Book, 1994 (ed. or. 1988);
Hans Belting, Il culto delle immagini. Storia dell'icona dall'età imperiale al tardo Medioevo, Roma, 2001 (ed. or. 1990);
G. Duby, L’arte e la società medievale, Bari, Laterza, 1977
E.H. Gombrich, A cavallo di un manico di scopa. Saggi di teoria dell’arte, Torino, 1976 (ed. or. 1963)
Johan Huizinga, L'autunno del Medioevo, Milano, BUR, 1998 (ed or. 1919)
R. Krautheimer, Architettura sacra paleocristiana e medievale, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1993 (ed. or. 1965);
H. L. Kessler, Seeing medieval art, Peterborough, Ontario, Broadview Press, 2004;
J. von Schlosser, L’ arte del medioevo, Torino, Einaudi, 1989 (ed. or. 1923).

Be consulted, to support the lessons and exam preparation:

one handbook on artistic terms (i.e.: F. Gualdoni, Dizionario Skira dei termini artistici, Ginevra, Skira, 2010; or L. Grassi, M. Pepe, Dizionario dei termini artistici, Milano, 1994)
one handbook on artistic tecniques (i.e.: Arti e tecniche del Medioevo, a cura di F. Crivello, Torino, Einaudi, 2006; oppure Arti e storia nel Medioevo. II. Del costruire: tecniche, artisti, artigiani, committenti, a cura di E. Castelnuovo, Sergi, Torino, Einaudi, 2003, pp. 431-698; oppure Le tecniche artistiche, a cura di C. Maltese, Milano 1981)

To broaden and/or focus topics and authors see: Enciclopedia dell’Arte medievale, 12 voll., Roma, Treccani,1991-2002. Also in the web version: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/ricerca/enciclopedia-dell'arte-medievale/Enciclopedia_dell'_Arte_Medievale/

During lessons could be provided, eventually for specific case, additional bibliography for further study.
To access the oral must pass the written test.

The written test consists of filling out six (6) entries based on the recognition of images (taken from the manual and lessons discussed during the course, available on pdf in ISA Material) and of short processing.
The first part of the form to fill will be modeled on the following items: Object, Location, Material and technique, Dating, Artist, Iconographic Subject (max 2.5 points). The second part of the form will be focused on: Short critical history of the object; Iconographic description; Iconologic interpretation; Short commentary on style (max 2.5 points). For each entry the student can reach 5 points maximum

The oral examination will focus on the works of art, the topics discussed during the course and the readings pointed out from time to time.
Lecture with projected images; tutorials on style and iconography in artworks.

The attendance of the course is strongly recommended.

Students not attending, shall agree the syllabus with the teacher (by appointment).
written and oral
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 05/07/2021