73760 - Foundations of the Modern History of Art

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Barbara Ghelfi (Modulo 1) Emanuela Fiori (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage (cod. 8616)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student should be able to orientate himself in the main problems and research paths of the art of these centuries, and to recognize and comment on the works of the outstanding artists of the different movements.

Course contents

The course is divided into two modules:

In the first, will outline the most significant events of figurative culture in Italy in the seventeenth century: starting with the naturalistic revolution of the Carracci and of Caravaggio, until the Baroque Rome and the contribution that European artists of the caliber of Rubens, Velazquez, Rembrandt and Vermeer, gave to the painting of the seventeenth century. An in-depth study on Guercino and his atelier is expected.

The second module focuses the artistic situation of the Italian center between the year 1450/1520, dealing with the context of training and the career of Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello Sanzio and Michelangelo Buonarroti. In particular, will be analyzed the Florentine painting in the age of Lorenzo il Magnifico.


First part:

Tomaso Montanari, Il Barocco, Torino, Einaudi 2012.

Rubens e la nascita del barocco, a cura di Anna Lo Bianco, Venezia, Marsilio, 2016, catalogo della Mostra tenuta a Milano nel 2016-2017.

S. Salort Pons, Velázquez e l'Italia, in Velázquez, catalogo della mostra, Palazzo Ruspoli, Fondazione Memmo, a cura di Felipe V. Garín Llombart, Salvador Salort Pons, Milano, 2001, pp. 52-83.

Guercino nello studio, a cura di B. Ghelfi, R. Morselli, Dario Cimorelli Editore, Milano 2023.

Second part:

In-depth study of some fundamental themes in the development of art from the mid-fifteenth century to the second decade of the sixteenth with particular emphasis on the figures of Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Candidates are required to prepare on one of the texts indicated below as FUNDAMENTAL and as further study choose one of the essays among those indicated, depending on the chosen topic


A. De Marchi, Le geometrie luminose di Verrocchio pittore e le loro diffrazioni a Firenze sul 1470,tra Leonardo, Ghirlandaio e Perugino in Verrocchio il maestro di Leonardo, cat. Mostra Firenze Palazzo Strozzi, Venezia Marsilio, 2019,pp.49-75.

M. Faietti, Con studio e fantasia in Raffaello 1520 -1583 cat mostra ed Skira 2020, pp. 19-42.


Raffaello Sanzio

V. Farinella, Raffaello giovanissimo: Urbino, Città di Castello, Perugia in Raffaello 1520 -1583 ,cat mostra ed Skira 2020 , pp.463-472.

A. Nava, Raffaello a Firenze e la scultura del Quattrocento in Raffaello 1520 -1583 cat mostra ed Skira 2020 pp.423-434.

A. Gnann, L’attività di Raffaello sotto Giulio II in Raffaello 1520 -1583 cat mostra ed Skira 2020 pp.359-378.

Estasi di Santa Cecilia

G. Zarri, L’altra Cecilia Elena Duglioli dall’Olio (1472-1520) in Indagini per un dipinto. La santa Cecilia di Raffaello a cura di A. Emiliani, Bologna 1983, pp.119-140.

Madonna del Cardellino

A. Baldinotti, Raffaello Madonna del Cardellino, in Raffaello ,la rivelazione del colore a cura di M. Ciatti, Fienze Edifir,pp.131-142.

A. Natali, Raffaello amico di Ridolfo , in Raffaello ,la rivelazione del colore a cura di M.Ciatti, Fienze Edifir,pp.131-142.


C. FROSININI, L’Adorazione dei Magi e i luoghi di Leonardo in Il restauro dell’Adorazione dei Magi di Leonardo. La riscoperta di un capolavoro, a cura di M. Ciatti e C. Frosinini Firenze Edifir 2017.

E. FERRETTI, L’architettura nell’Adorazione dei Magi di Leonardo da Vinci tra morfologia, fenomenologia e gerarchizzazione dello spazio: alcune considerazioni Leonardo in Il restauro dell’Adorazione dei Magi di Leonardo. La riscoperta di un capolavoro, a cura di M. Ciatti e C. Frosinini, Firenze Edifir 2017.


F CAGLIOTI, Michelangelo scultore: i problemi dell’attività giovanile e il ‘Cupido’ Galli di Manhattan in ‘Paragone Arte’ Anno LXIX - Terza serie - Numero 137 (815) Gennaio 2018

M. Bianco- V. Romani, Vittoria Colonna e Michelangelo, in Michelangelo e Vittoria Colonna cat mostra a cura di P. Ragionieri, Firenze 2005 pp.145-164;

L. Caporossi, Michelangelo e le istanze di rinnovamento dell’Ecclesia Viterbensis, in L’Eterno e il Tempo tra Michelangelo e Caravaggio, cat.mostra a cura di D. Benati, A. Bacchi, Silvana ed Cinisello Balsamo 2018, pp.27-38.

Teaching methods

The course will be composed by lectures and visits.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of an oral test. Discussion of textbook (the history of art from late Fifteenth to early Nineteenth century); one text chosen by the student among the optional essays.

In particular:

1. Those students who show developed analytical skills of selected readings and their correct contextualization within a complete vision of the issues discussed during lectures will be given a mark of excellence. Mastering of field-specific language and good expression during the examination will also be required (A =28-30 con lode).

2. Those students who show mnemonic knowledge of the subject and a superficial analysis of selected readings, as well as a correct but not always appropriate mastering of the field-specific language will be given a satisfactory mark (B = 25-27 and C = 23-24).

3. Those students who will show vague knowledge and superficial understanding of selected readings, limited analytical skills and a not always appropriate expression will be given a ‘pass’ mark roughly (D = 18-22).

4. Those students who show gaps in their knowledge and lack of familiarity with selected readings will not be given a ‘pass’ mark (E).

Teaching tools

Lectures with digital slides.

Students who are affected by learning disability (DSA) and in need of special strategies to compensate it, are kindly requested to contact the Teacher, in order to be referred to the colleagues in charge and get proper advice and instructions.

Office hours

See the website of Barbara Ghelfi

See the website of Emanuela Fiori