History of artistic literature and art criticism (i) (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Valerio Terraroli
Valerio Terraroli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IIA dal Feb 15, 2021 al Apr 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The students should be able to aquire the elements to read and critically explain a historical/artistic testimonies and literary testimonies in an artistic/historical setting. The student should be able to examine analysis and comparisons on facts, expressing general lines of reasoning and deductions on the main subjects; consequently, the students should develop a smart use of the sources. At the end of the course the student should know the main textual sources related to the artistic production of the early Christian at the end of the Eighteenth century; to apply a correct analysis method to historic and artistic sources; to contextualize the sources historically and culturally. The course should give the tools for a correct exposition of a historic and artistic problem of critic, historic and subject analysis of a literary text. The course should give the tools for an own judgement autonomy and communicative ability. The student should be able to use the specific glossary of the discipline. The course would give tools to develop the judgement autonomy of the students. The student should acquire the knowledge of different lines of development of art history and historic, critic and subject analysis of a literary text.


History of Literature profiles and origin of Art Criticism
Introduction to the definition of the discipline, its statute and methodological approaches
Definition of artistic literature
The classic tradition and the medieval culture
The tradition of Giottesque workshop: the Art Book of Cennini, Dante
The Commentari of Lorenzo Ghiberti
The “system” of Leon Battista Alberti
The architectural essays in the Fifteenth century
The biographical tradition and the figure of the artist
The XVI century
Travel guides, memory of the ancient and collecting
From humanistic biography to the Vite of Vasari
The work of Giorgio Vasari and the comparison between two editions of the Vite
Analysis of some Vite
The correspondence and the memories
The reactions to Vasari and the culture of the Counter-Reformation
The manieristic culture
The XVII century
Historiography and collecting in Rome: Agucchi, Giustiniani, Mancini
The nobles matter: local claims (Ridolfi and Boschini in Venice, Malvasia in Bologna)
Antiquaniarism and Classicism: Giovan Pietro Bellori
The XVIII century
Between collections of documents and "eye exercises": Muratori, Maffei, Bottari
The new editions of Vasari's Vite: from Bottari to Della Valle
Renew of antique tradition: Winckelmann and Mengs
Local erudition: Ranghiasci, Da Morrona, Mariotti, Orsini
New museal tendencies and reflection in artistic storiography
The Storia pittorica of Luigi Lanzi

At the end of the course a critic anthology will be given to the students (e-learning or e-mail stefania.cretella@univr.it). The texts used during the lectures will be part of the exam.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Donata Levi Il discorso sull’arte Bruno Mondadori 2010 pp. 3-19, 48-90
J. Schlosser Magnino La letteratura artistica La Nuova Italia 1977 relativamente a: Libro II: Il primo Rinascimento. L’eredità di Leonardo; Libro III: La storiografia dell’arte prima del Vasari; Libro IV: La teoria dell’arte nella prima metà del secolo XVI; Libro V: Il Vasari; Libro VI: La letteratura artistica nel periodo del Manierismo; Libro VII: La storiografia del Barocco e del classicismo (escluso il capitolo II La storiografia dell’arte nel resto d’Europa. La storiografia del classicismo italiano); Libro VIII: La letteratura locale italiana (solo il capitolo I La storiografia artistica locale in Italia); Libro IX: La teoria artistica dei secoli XVII e XVIII - N.B.: si intendono escluse le note relative agli approfondimenti bibliografici. (Biblioteca Ambrosoli: STL 701 69; Biblioteca Frinzi: BF 12 B 460 bis; download pdf: https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/schlosser1964)
Lionello Venturi Storia della critica d'arte Einaudi 1964 pp. 47-79

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam purposes should verify the learning and critic reprocessing capacities of the treated topics, texts and bibliography.
The modalities will be oral through a conversation on the above subjects. The exam will be oral with a conversation between student and professor related to the topics of the course, the bibliography and critic texts and works treated during the lessons and the seminar for reading and analyzing texts.
The evaluation will be on 30/30.