European Art History (i) (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Bernard Jan Hendrik Aikema
Bernard Jan Hendrik Aikema
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 2A dal Feb 17, 2020 al Mar 28, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

A basic knowledge of the history and geography of eary modern Europe is necessary to follow the course.
The student has to be able to use the necessary elements to interpret some key moments of the history of European art. The student has to be able to analyse the artworks in their correct historical, cultural and geographical context, using an adequate vocabulary. The student has to be able to read and use in a critical way the bibliography and documents that are being proposed in the course.


The class intends to highlight the relationship between the main artistic centers of the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries, based on four major themes: the Flemish Quattrocento, the Europe of the Courts, the 17th century Dutch, and the eighteenth-century transformations. Among the artists that will be analyzed are Jan van Eyck, Antonello da Messina, Albrecht Durer, Raffaello, Parmigianino, Giulio Romano, Pieter Brueghel, Jan van Goyen, Jan Steen, G..B. Tiepolo, J.L. David, and many more.

The following four themes will be handled each in three or four lessons.

1. Fifth-century Flemish, the so-called "ars nova" by Jan van Eyck. It will be demonstrated that Jan van Eyck's realism has influenced the development of art in Europe decisively, from Germany to France, Spain and Italy.

2. The Europe of the Courts. The classicism of Raffaello has become, since the early sixteenth century, the favorite language of the international art of the european courts, from Italy to France, to the Habsburg courts.

3. The 17th century in Netherlands. A new realism and a new proliferation of pictorial genres characterize the pictorial art of the seventeenth century, which dominates much of the art market both in the North and in the Southern Alps.

4. New themes and new relationships with the spectator are proposed by the mid-eighteenth century, as will be illustrated with some specific examples

One or two visits in cities of Veneto will be effectuated during the course.

Literature for the exam:
- S. Nash, Northern Renaissance Art, Oxford History of Art, Oxford 2008, capp. 1-3, 9-12, 18
- C. Occhipinti, L'arte in Italia e in Europa nel secondo Cinquecento, Einaudi, Torino 2012, pp. 51-72, 73-83, 99
- M. Westermann, A wordly Art, The Dutch Republic 1585-1718, Londra 1996, introduzione e capp. 1-3
- H. Honour, Neoclassicismo, Einaudi, Torino 1993, introduzione e capp. 1-3
Photocopies will be provided during the course.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be an oral interview, except for extraordinary cases in which the large number of the students will determine the need for a written examination.