History of Medieval Art I [Sede VR] (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Tiziana Franco
Tiziana Franco
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 1A, Sem 1B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The purpose of this course is to discuss and analyze a critical theme relevant to the history of medieval art in order to consolidate the methodological bases and knowledge of the historical/critical presuppositions, with special emphasis on the works themselves in their spatial, historic and cultural context. The syllabus, as well as the skills and expertise that will be gained in this course, are characteristic features of the studies involved in the interuniversity Art degree program.


Women artists, women patrons, spaces and works for women. Some exemplary cases between the 12th and the 15th century.
The course will deal with the role of women in the art production and patronage through some exemplary cases focused on the religious and profane context. The analysis will extend to the European situation; however, a constant reference to the Veneto region will be also made, with specific attention to Verona and Padua.
Although there are several evidences of female patronage between the 12th and the 15th century, little is known on women artists. Nevertheless, the course will focus on documentary witnesses and works that can be attributed to female artists. In particular, the surviving evidences concern the art of embroidery, the art of weaving, and the production of books, with documented interventions in copying texts as well as in illuminating them. In addition, the analysis will regard some cases in which women were involved in the more complex role of authors and co-ordinators for the execution of the whole work. Besides, special attention will be given to the spaces of the female devotion, namely the cloistered convents and the works bound to the needs of the religious community.
The definitive program will be released at the beginning of the course; the list of some reference texts is as follows:

X. Barral I Altet, Donne committenti e donne artiste nel romanico europeo: una questione aperta dell’arte medievale, in Matilde di Canossa e il suo tempo, atti del convegno (San Benedetto PO, Revere, Mantova 2015), II, Spoleto 2016, pp. 729-746.
C. Poggi, M. Santini, La Bibbia nell’Hortus deliciarum, in Donne e Bibbia nel Medioevo (secoli XII-XV) tra ricezione e interpretazione, a cura di K. E. Børresen e A. Valerio, Trapani 2011, pp. 331-347
G. Valenzano, Donne negate: le artiste nel Medioevo, in Le plaisir de l’art du Moyen Âge. Commande, production et réception de l’œuvre d’art. Mélanges en hommage à Barral i Altet, Paris 2012, pp. 252-257
G. Valenzano, Z., Murat, Donne dimenticate. Esempi di committenza femminile nel Veneto medievale, in Medioevo. I committenti, atti del convegno a cura di A. C. Quintavalle, Milano 2011, pp. 187-200.
P. Vitolo, L’Hortus Deliciarum di Herrada di Hohenburg. 1. Immagine della donna e strategie narrative nell’Hortus deliciarum, in Donne e Bibbia nel Medioevo (secoli XII-XV) tra ricezione e interpretazione, a cura di K. E. Børresen e A. Valerio, Trapani 2011, pp. 319-330
E. Zappasodi, Sorores reclusae. Spazi di clausura e immagini dipinte in Umbria fra XIII e XIV secolo, Firenze 2018, pp. 9-26, 79-104.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
K.E. Børresen, A. Valerio Donne e bibbia nel medioevo (secoli XII-XV) (Edizione 2011) Il Pozzo di Giacobbe 2011

Assessment methods and criteria


The examination is oral and will be based on the texts indicated at the beginning of the course and, for those attending the lessons, also on the lesson notes. Constant references to images will be made during the exam.
The oral examination aims at verifying the following:
- depth and range of the knowledge acquired and the capacity to expound this clearly
- level of analytic and systematic reasoning
- ability to connect areas of knowledge in a systematic fashion
- level of independent judgement.