Iconography of Female Fashion. The Social Meaning of Clothes through Visual Arts, from the Renaissance to the 17th Century. (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Alessandra Zamperini
Alessandra Zamperini
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

After outlining the meaning of "fashion" and defining its basic features, the course will investigate the evolution and the social value of female fashion from the Renaissance to the 17th century (to support the analysis, references spanning from the 18th to the19th century will also be made). These aspects will be discussed not only in relation to the notion of status (stressing the positive meaning of this term and how fashion was important to it), but also in connection with critical opinions and repressive measures (for example, the sumptuary laws). Students are expected to become familiar with these conceits which, taken together, concur in mirroring the culture of any epoch; fashion will be also considered as a means to read the works of art.


The course will foucus on analyzing works of art spanning from the 15th to the 17th century, interpreted through contemporary sources (literary texts, sumptuary laws, etc.); references to later epochs (from the 18th to the 19 th century), in order to outline the differences and similarities in female fashion during the centuries discussed and to understand how all this allows us to read some works of art in a more exhaustive way.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students may choose to take a written exam or an oral exam; the exam may consist in a brief, although accurate, dissertation devoted to specific topics dealt with during the course or related to it.
WARNING: this course is included in the f section, with mandatory attendace.