Introduction to Art History (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Alessandra Zamperini
Alessandra Zamperini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Second half of Semester 1 dal Nov 13, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

This course is dedicated to understanding and putting in context the main subject matters in Art History from Middle Ages to the XIX century. The course will also discuss the main methods of analysis in Art History. Lessons will focus on:
- Periods and designations
- Analysis of specific themes: the figure of the artist; the main genres; the perspective; the problem of time in the visual arts.
- Methods of analysing works of art
Seminaries devoted to in-depth examination of some specific subject matters (36 hours) will supplement the course. These lessons are warmly recommended.

This course aimes at providing the students with the basic tools that can be helpful in recognising the main styles and the prevailing iconographies with autonomy; recognising the most widespread genres, their development and their fortune; dealing with the problems which are related to designations, periods and genres in a critical way; being aware of the essential primary sources; mastering the main consultation tools for bibliographic research.
Students are frequently encouraged to verify the liabilty of the theoretical statements they have learnt from the teacher (or the tutor, in the seminaries) by analysing the works of art by their own (the works of art will be discussed during the lessons and their images will be loaded on the e-learning website); furthermore, students are encouraged to express their opinions on specific problems concerning some particular works of art, so that they can develop their skills in analysing and giving their personal judgement.


Periods and designations: themes and features of the main periods in Art History
Methodological approaches
Religious and profane iconographies

1. A Handbook of Art History. Recommended titles: Valerio Terraroli, Arte, Skira-Bompiani, 5 volumi; Pierluigi De Vecchi, Edda Cerchiari, Arte nel tempo, Bompiani, 3 volls. (in 6 parts)

2. Guido Galesso, Parole per vedere, Lecce, Pensa Multimedia, 2006
3. Antonio Pinelli, La storia dell’arte. Istruzioni per l’uso, Laterza (any edition)

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Valerio Terraroli Arte Skira-Bompiani 2012 5 volumi. I manuali sono consigliati per seguire gli argomenti trattati a lezione. Gli studenti ne scelgano uno tra quelli indicati
Pierluigi De Vecchi, Edda Cerchiari Arte nel tempo Bompiani 1995 3 volumi. I manuali sono consigliati per seguire gli argomenti trattati a lezione. Gli studenti ne scelgano uno tra quelli indicati
Antonio Pinelli La storia dell'arte. Istruzioni per l'uso Laterza 2009 vanno bene anche altre edizioni
Guido Galesso Parole per vedere Pensa Multimedia 2006

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam. Students are asked to recognise and describe: the main formal features in the periods that will be the object of the course; the main iconographies and, when possible, their sources (sacred or profane texts; myths; treatises, etc.); the main genres and the most relevant debates they have aroused in time.