Anno accademico
2022/2023 Programmi anni precedenti
Titolo corso in inglese
Codice insegnamento
EM3A13 (AF:376422 AR:208914)
In presenza
Crediti formativi universitari
Livello laurea
Laurea magistrale (DM270)
Settore scientifico disciplinare
3° Periodo
Anno corso
Spazio Moodle
Link allo spazio del corso
This module constitutes the first part of a 12-ECTS course (Modern and Contemporary Art) and develops a specific subject within the wider art historical research area of the curriculum. You will acquire more advanced notions – hopefully building upon what you previously learned – and competences in order to understand the artistic, social and cultural context of the Italian courts in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Lectures will deal with history of Fashion, Jewellery, Furniture and its principles, production, spreading and consumption of objects and Works of Art – Paintings, Sculptures, etc. – also with references to written sources. The goal is to learn how to interpret the artistic language in its historical context, and to understand its transformation – and possible deformation – due to the changes of taste and political and social structures.
The criteria and methodological tools, which you will learn to use, can be fruitfully applied to other national and international contexts in the subsequent centuries, as well. The course’s historical setting (the Renaissance) is particularly relevant to the recent lively debate on its impact on and persistence in our contemporary cultural and entrepreneurial context (Entrepreneurial Renaissance).

Critical “reading” of the works of art, in order to investigate, interpret and decipher the material culture of the Renaissance, seen as a mirror of a social and cultural system and its complex structure. The aim is to provide the critical tools for better understanding the role of the artwork as a response to a cultural need.


State-of-the-art critical vocabulary that will allow you to develop complex argumentations, as well as analyses, and assess different contexts, figures and artworks (philology of the visual sign, iconography, inferential criticism and cultural studies).


Capacity to identify and define contexts and periods for the management of permanent and temporary exhibitions; connecting the outstanding elements of an art-historical tradition to the current evolution of a territory by combining humanities, economics and management; establishing original connections between the “modernity” of the Renaissance and contemporary challenges.
Adequate knowledge of Italian art history, in particular of the Renaissance era from the late 14th to the early 16th Century
Works of Art as consumer goods and as narratives: “Material Renaissance” includes the fashion of painted marriage chests in the 15th and early 16th centuries (which in their shape and painted subjects respond to specific social structures and family relations); the invention of the “study” (“studiolo”) and its furniture; the interpretation of jewellery and fashion in portraiture; armor; oriental carpets in paintings; furs and their consumption, and much more. Renaissance paintings, sculptures, art objects speak of their patrons, of men and women who commissioned, admired and used them.
Lectures notes;
Stephen J. Campbell, Michael Cole, Italian Renaissance Art, pp.174-199; 202-231
For each class all readings (short essays and articles, c. 15-20 pages, in PDF) will be uploaded on Moodle.

Further readings:
Before each class a short related reading will be uploaded on Moodle
The list follows:
1) E. Welch, Art and Society in Italy 1350-1500, Oxford 1997, pp. 103-129
2) Campbell, Stephen John, Mantegna’s Camera Picta: Visuality and Pathos, in “Art history”, 37.2014, 2, pp. 314-332
3) C. Paolini, Il cassone, un arredo nella casa del Rinascimento, in Virtù d’amore.Pittura nuziale nel Quattrocento fiorentino, catalogo della mostra a cura di Caudio Paolini, Daniela Parenti, Ludovica Sebregondi, Firenze 2010, pp. 51-59
4) Leah R. Clark, Collecting, exchange, and sociability in the Renaissance studiolo, in “Journal of the History of Collections”,vol. 25 no. 2 (2013) pp. 171–184
5) Claudia Kryza-Gersch, The Production of Multiple Small Bronzes in the Italian Renaissance- When, Where and Why (I), in “Ricche Minere”, 1, 2014, pp. 21-40
6) Stephen Scher, The currency of fame: Portrait medals of the Renaissance, New York Frick Coll, 1994. Introduction
7) Patricia Lee Rubin, Understanding Renaissance Portraiture, in The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini, catalogo della mostra a cura di Keith Christiansen e Stefan Weppelman, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011, pp. 2-25.
8) Timothy McCall, Brilliant bodies: Material culture and the Adornment of Men in North Italy’s Quattrocento Courts, in “I Tatti Studies”, vol. 16, nn. 1-2, 2013, pp. 445-490.
9) Evelyn Welch, Art on the edge: hair and hands in Renaissance Italy, in “Renaissance Studies”, Vol. 23 No. 3, 2008, pp. 241-268
Emanuele Lugli, The Hair is Full of Snares. Botticelli’s and Boccaccio’s Wayward Erotic Gaze, in “Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorisches Institutes in Florenz”, 2, 2019, pp. 203-233
10) Tawny Sherrill, Fleas, fur and fashion: "zibellini" as luxury accessories of the Renaissance, in “Medieval clothing and textiles”, 2. 2006, pp. 121-150
11) Rosamund Mack, Bazaar to Piazza. Islamic trade and Italian art, 1300-1600, Berkeley and Los Angeles 2002, pp. 149-170
Final paper, based on the lectures’ notes and on the readings provided for each class. It will be followed by a short discussion of the paper with the student. To complete the papers the students will also have to consult websites of the most important museums worldwide, a few bibliographical resources and the notes from the lectures. Attendance and active participation in seminars will also be assessed.
Classroom teaching; sharing of analyses, tools and case studies; two lectures by internationally renown experts and museum managers. PPT with the images shown during class will be uploaded on Moodle within 24 hours.
Programma definitivo.
Data ultima modifica programma: 24/12/2022