Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0215 (AF:444441 AR:249869)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
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The class is included among the similar or supplementary training activities of the Master's Degree "History of Arts and Conservation of Artistic Heritage" (programme: "Medieval and Byzantine"). The course aims to deepen the knowledge of the various forms of expression of early Christian art (architecture, sculpture, mosaics, sumptuary art), hrough the analysis of a series of testimonies of the heritage of the city of Rome (3th-7th century).
- Knowledge and understanding: assimilation of the notions, reflections and concepts transmitted during the lessons;
- Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: to be able to bring back the works of art and the artistic phenomena treated in class in the socio-cultural and spatial-temporal areas of belonging;
- Ability to judge: to be able to grasp the most significant aspects of each work of art, whether they belong to the formal, iconographic, iconological, symbolic, socio-cultural, aesthetic fields;
- Communication skills: knowing how to describe works of art and artistic phenomena treated in class using the specific terminology of the discipline; be able to express clearly, and grammatically correct, notions, reflections and concepts acquired during the lessons;
- Learning skills: at the end of the course the student must be able to provide a reading at the same time analytical and critical of the works of art and artistic phenomena treated, integrating the knowledge acquired during the lessons to read the texts indicated.
No prerequisite is required.
This year's course is dedicated to the city of Rome, the political and religious heart of western Christianity and one of the most fruitful and long-lasting centers of artistic and cultural production in history. The goal is to deepen the knowledge of the formal vocabulary of early Christian art through the examination of a series of evidences - between the most significant ones - belonging to the rich and varied heritage of the Urbe.
The topic will be analyzed on the long duration: from the first Christian images, which spread in the funeral sphere (between the paintings of the catacombs and the reliefs of the sarcophagi) even before the edict of Constantine (313), until the greek mosaics of the apses of 7th century (San Venanzio, Santo Stefano Rotondo, Sant'Agnese), which are to be considered the expression of a language still late antique, for others already early medieval.
The speeches will be articulated around a varied series of monuments, which will be analyzed taking into account the architectural structures (plans, elevations, materials and construction techniques), the decorative systems (mural painting, mosaics, stucco, opus sectile and sculptural elements), and the needs of use (the basilicas and their liturgical spaces, martyrdom sanctuaries, baptisteries, mausoleums). Particular attention will be paid to the figurative dimension, through the presentation of theophanic representations, the New and Old Testament cycles, the first processional icons.
Finally, there will be reflections on the dynamics of the production process (commission, construction sites, technical-executive methods, models, materials, function and use), on the formal expressions (style) and semantic contents (iconography, epigraphy), and on the issues aesthetic-symbolic (imperial and papal propaganda, dialogue with classical antiquity, relationship with sacredness).

- ANDALORO 2006 = Maria Andaloro, ‘L’orizzonte tardoantico e le nuove immagini, 312-468’ (‘La pittura medievale a Roma, 312-1431’, Corpus, Vol. I), Milan, Jaca Book, 2006.
- ANDALORO-ROMANO 2000 = Maria Andaloro, Serena Romano, ‘Arte e iconografia a Roma da Costantino a Cola di Rienzo’, Milan, Jaca Book, 2000.
- BRANDENBURG 2004 = Hugo Brandenburg, ‘Le prime chiese di Roma. IV-VII secolo’, Milan, Jaca Book, 2004.
- ENSOLI-LA ROCCA 2000 = Serena Ensoli, Eugenio La Rocca, ed., ‘Aurea Roma: dalla città pagana alla città cristiana’, catalogue of exposition (Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, 22th
December 2000-20th April 2001), S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca, éd., Rome 2000.
- MATTHIAE 1967 = Guglielmo Matthiae, ‘Mosaici medievali delle chiese di Roma’, 2 voll., Rome, Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1967.


° "Catacombe e sarcofagi":
- Bisconti Fabrizio, ‘Il messaggio delle immagini’, in ENSOLI-LA ROCCA 2000, pp. 309-316.
° "Lateran Complex":
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 20-54.
- Alfano G., Moretti F. R., ‘I mosaici e la decorazione ad opus sectile nell’atrio del Battistero Lateranense’, in ANDALORO 2006, pp. 347-357.
- Leardi G., ‘Il volto di Cristo della perduta abside di San Giovanni in Laterano’, in ANDALORO, 2006, pp. 358-361.
- Pennesi S., I mosaici delle cappelle del Battistero Lateranense, in Maria ANDALORO, ‘L’orizzonte tardoantico e le nuove immagini, 312-468’, op. cit., uniquely the pp. 425-428.
- MATTHIAE 1967, pp. 191-198 (San Venanzio).
° "San Pietro in Vaticano":
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 92-103.
- Liverani P., Moretti F. R., ‘I mosaici perduti di San Pietro in Vaticano di età costantiniana’, in ANDALORO 2006, pp. 87-91.
- Bordi G., ‘L’Agnus Dei, i quattro simboli degli evangelisti e i ventiquattro Seniores nel mosaico della facciata di San Pietro in Vaticano’, in ANDALORO 2006, pp. 416-418.
- Viscontini M., ‘I cicli vetero e neo testamentari della navata di San Pietro in Vaticano’, in ANDALORO 2006, pp. 411-415.
° Sant’Agnese fuori le mura e Mausoleo di Santa Costanza:
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 70-86.
- Piazza S., ‘I mosaici esistenti e perduti di Santa Costanza’, in ANDALORO 2006, pp. 54-86.
- MATTHIAE 1967, pp. 169-180, 412.
° San Paolo fuori le mura:
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 114-130.
° Santa Pudenziana:
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 137-142.
- Andaloro M., ‘Il mosaico absidale di Santa Pudenziana’, in ANDALORO 2006, pp. 114-124.
° Santa Sabina:
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 167-177.
- Leardi G., ‘I mosaici e la decorazione ad opus sectile di Santa Sabina’, in Maria ANDALORO 2006, pp. 291-304.
° Santa Maria Maggiore:
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 178-189.
- Menna M. R., ‘I mosaici della basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore’, in ANDALORO 2006, pp. 306-346.
° Santi Cosma e Damiano:
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 222-231.
- MATTHIAE 1967, pp. 135-142, 203-213, 408-409, 413.
° San Lorenzo fuori le mura:
- MATTHIAE 1967, pp. 149-168, 411-412.
° San Teodoro:
- MATTHIAE 1967, pp. 143-148, 409-410.
° Santo Stefano Rotondo:
- BRANDENBURG 2004, pp. 200-214.
- MATTHIAE 1967, pp. 181-190, 412-413.
° Le icone:
- PARLATO E., ‘Le icone in processione’, in ANDALORO-ROMANO 2000, pp. 69-92.


- ANDALORO Maria, D’ANGELO Carla, ‘Mosaici medievali a Roma attraverso il restauro dell’ICR, 1991-2004’, Rome, Gangemi 2017.
- ANDALORO Maria, 'La pittura medievale a Roma, 312-1431', 'Atlante, percorsi visivi', vol. I, Milan, Jaca Book, 2006.
- KRAUTHEIMER Richard, ‘Roma profilo di una città (312-1308)’, Rome, Edizioni dell’Elefante, [1981] 2009.
The oral exam will focus on the contents of the lessons and compulsory texts (see above, "Reference texts").
Classroom-taught with PowerPoint projection containing documentary and illustrative material, specially prepared by the teacher.
Use of the Moodle multimedia platform, for the provision of documentary and illustrative materials in pdf format.

If, for health reasons, distance lessons become mandatory, the course will be delivered via Hangouts Meet, always with the support of documentary and illustrative material in Power Point (access can take place both in real time and through video-audio recordings).
Course attendance is strongly recommended.

Ca 'Foscari applies the Italian law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) for support and accommodation services available to students with disabilities or with specific learning disabilities. If you have a motor, visual, hearing or other disability (Law 17/1999) or a specific learning disorder (Law 170/2010) and request support (assistance in the classroom, technological aids for carrying out exams or exams individualized, accessible format material, notes retrieval, specialized tutoring to support the study, interpreters or other) contact the Disability and SLD office disabling@unive.it.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 30/06/2023