Introduction to Art History (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Alessandra Zamperini
Alessandra Zamperini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
CuCi IB dal Nov 9, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The 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 analyzing works of art. This course aims at providing the students with the basic tools that can be helpful in recognizing the main styles and the prevailing iconographies with autonomy; recognizing the most widespread genres, their development and their fortune; dealing with the cultural arguments involved in the way their designations were created in a critical way; being aware of the essential primary sources; mastering the main consultation tools for bibliographic research. During the course, students are frequently encouraged to verify the reliability of the theoretical statements they have learnt from the teacher (or the tutor, during the seminaries) by analyzing the works of art by their own (the main pieces 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 forming their personal judgement.


Periods and designations: themes and features of the main periods in Art History
Genres (i.e. definitions and characteristics of the ‘pittura di storia’; still life; veduta and capriccio, etc.)
Methodological approaches (formal reading; iconographic and iconological analysis)
Religious and profane iconographies (with regard to the most frequent themes; the most common classical sources; iconographic attributes, etc.).

References: students must accompany their work with one of the handbooks (in 5 or 6 volumes) that are in the list of references. Students must choose only one of the handbooks (Terraroli or De Vecchi-Cerchiari or Settis-Montanari). Different handbooks are admitted, but they must possess the same degree of accuracy.
The books by Pinelli and Veratelli-Habcy are compulsory.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Valerio Terraroli Arte Skira-Bompiani 2012
Pierluigi De Vecchi, Edda Cerchiari Arte nel tempo Bompiani 1995
Salvatore Settis Tomaso Montanari Arte. Una storia Naturale e civile Einaudi 2019
Federica Veratelli, Jasmine Habcy Didattica della Storia dell'Arte Mondadori 2020 9788861847620
Antonio Pinelli La storia dell'arte. Istruzioni per l'uso Laterza 2009 Anche altre edizioni vanno bene.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam. Students are asked to recognise: the main formal features characterising the periods analysed during 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 about art topics.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, the assessment modality might be modified.