History, materials, techniques and criticism of decorative arts (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Stefania Cretella
Stefania Cretella
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
NN - -
Language of instruction
Sem. 2B dal Apr 8, 2019 al Jun 1, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course intends to give tools for a correct speaking ability discussing historical and artistic problems. The student will learn to distinguish the different materials and the executive techniques and to recognize evolution of the taste from the end of the 19th century to the begin of the 20th.
The student should be able to use the specific glossary of the specific sector selected and to acquire the necessary elements to read and critically interpret a works of decorative arts.


The course will focus on the problem of the new concept of modernity developed in Europe in the last years of the nineteenth century and the outbreak of the First World War. We will analyze the various facets that International Modernism has assumed depending on the cultural context and the different areas of diffusion. The results of the new taste applied to the various technical fields can be verified, with particular attention to the production of ceramics, glass, furniture and jewelery. at the end of the course a short excursus will be dealt with on the main international exhibitions of decorative arts and on the critical debate generated on these occasions.
- General Features of International Modernism
- Art Nouveau
- Art & Crafts and Glasgow School
- Jugendstil and the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony
- Wiener Secession and the Wiener Werkstaette
- Italian “Stile Liberty”
- Gaudì and the Catalan modernism
- Decorative Arts Expositions: Torino 1902 and Milan 1906

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Stefania Cretella, Karel Srp Alfons Mucha e le atmosfere Art Nouveau (edizione mostra Palazzo Ducale, Genova) 2016 Testi a pp. 20-35, 91, 115, 155, 181, 195, 233, 257. Repertorio iconografico: esclusivamente immagini di opere d’arte decorativa (Bibl. Ambrosoli, STL CSB MUC 6; E-learning)
Gabriele Fahr-Becker Art Nouveau 1996 pp. 25-161, 195-281, 335-378 (Bibl. Frinzi, BF 120 A 73; E-learning)
Rossana Bossaglia Il Liberty in Italia 1997 Introduzione pp. 7-12; pp. 74-105; 124-137 (Bibl. Frinzi, BF 12 B 90; Bibl. Ambrosoli, STL 709 CSB LIB 39; E-learning)

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be oral