Geography and History of Art (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Alessandra Zamperini
Alessandra Zamperini
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

This course provides the basic methodological tools in order to study different geographic areas from the point of view of art history, in terms of their individual characteristics and their relationships with other areas or centres. During each course, special attention will be granted to art historical subject matters of selected “places” using sources and methods from other disciplines (historical and others) and taking on an interdisciplinary perspective. The main course’s goals are - Aid students in interpreting the complexity and diversity of different formal languages; - Analyse cases of exchange in artistic typologies and iconographies; - Appreciate the originality and the relationships of these phenomena within their specific cultural contexts. - Read the sources, when necessary in the original text (with translation). During the course, students will be invited to develop their judgement and express their opinions on the works of art (slides will be loaded on the learning site). Furthermore, students will be encouraged to verify the reliability of the theoretical statements they have learnt from the teacher by analysing the works of art by their own, in order to increase their skills.


The sovereign’s portrait: visual propaganda and the idea of State.
The course aims at providing the tools for understanding in which manner royal portraiture reflected and at the same time help create the idea of State and government in the 16th and 17th century. Lessons will focus on the most significant works in this field, studying their formal evolution, their iconography and iconology (making comparisons with contemporary portraiture and, in some cases, with art products tout court), following an interdisciplinary approach with the support of art historical, historical and literary sources.
The course's goal is to provide students with basic tools for recognizing the main cultural structures involved by the course’s topics in different geographic regions; dealing with problems in interpreting the works that will be the object of the course with a critical judgement.
Students are frequently encouraged to verify the liability of the theoretical statements they have learnt from the teacher by analysing the works of art by their own (the works of art 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 particular works of art, so that they can develop their skills in analysing and giving their personal judgement.

1. Foundation: Titian’s model for Charles V and Philip of Habsburg.
2. Succession and Sate-building: the special case of Elizabeth I Tudor.
3. Fragile absolute power: Marie de’ Médicis and Rubens, Charles I Stuart and Van Dyck.
4. Celebration: Philip IV of Spain and Velázquez, Louis XIV and Bernini
Due to libraries closure, bibliographic references will be given as soon as possible.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral assessment. Students are asked to recognise and describe the main cultural and formal features of the works which will be discussed during the course; their iconographies, as well as their literary and typological sources; what all this have meant (in terms of dependence and possible relationship between 'centers and peripheries') in developing cultural exchanges in Europe.