29006 - Forms and Functions of Medieval Art (1) (2nd cycle)

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have acquired knowledge of the history of Medieval art. In this course students explore issues related to figurative systems (painting, sculpture, arts and crafts) implemented between the 5th and the 15th Century in Italy and in the whole Europe. These systems relate to and have been shaped by religious requirements, political and cultural factors. The course shall therefore provide students with all the transversal skills necessary to read the artistic phenomenon in its many components.

Course contents

Giotto's itinerary from Assisi to Padua
The course examines the novelty of Giotto's language in the first phase of his activity, between Assisi, Rimini and Padua.
The course corresponds to 6 CFU and is completed with that of "Comparative History of Art in European Countries" held by prof. Fabio Massaccesi (12 CFU exam).

Attending lectures is highly recommended.


You must review the history of Art from 1200 to 1450. The studying is advised in scholar manual references.

In addition, a text chosen from the following:

- Luciano Bellosi, La pecora di Giotto, Einaudi, 1985; reprint in economic edition: Abscondita, Milano 2015;

- Serena Romano, La O di Giotto, Electa, Milano 2008;

- Donal Cooper, Janet Robson, The Making of Assisi. The Pope, the Franciscans and the painting of the Basilic, Yale University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 2013;

- Giotto, l’Italia, ed. by Pietro Petraroia and Serena Romano, exhibition catalogue, Electa, Milano 2015.

Non-attending students must also read the following text:

- R. Offner, Giotto, Non-Giotto, "The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs", Vol. 74, No. 435 (Jun., 1939), pp. 258-263+266-269.

Teaching methods

Attend classes.

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed by means of an oral examination in which the candidate is required to engage in critical analysis based on the course reading.


During the oral examination, students must demonstrate to have acquired a critical understanding of the topics discussed during the course and a critical knowledge of the recommended bibliography.

After completing the course the student will be able:
• To know the features of artwork in medieval period
• Identify and analyze the most significant works
• Develop personal reflections
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of the various issues discussed
• Use correct terminology

The achievement of a comprehensive vision of the issues, the possession of a specific language, the originality of the reflection as well as familiarity with artwork analysis tools will be evaluated with marks of excellence. Knowledge mostly mechanical or mnemonic of matter, a capacity of synthesis and analysis articulated or not, an use of proper language but not always appropriate, as well as a school domain of the arguments of the course will lead to fair valuations. Training gaps or use inappropriate language, as well as a lack of knowledge of the arguments will lead to votes that will amount on the sufficiency threshold. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliography and inability to analyze will be evaluated negatively.

The assessment procedure is the same for students who attend or do not attend lectures.

Teaching tools

Ppt images, which will be made available to the student at the end of the course.


Office hours

See the website of Daniele Benati


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.