02290 - History of Modern Art

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Cultural Heritage (cod. 9076)

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

This course is divided in two parts.

a) The general part is intended to provide the student with a proper basic knowledge of the main events and of the crucial problems of Italian art from the high Renaissance (Leonardo da Vinci) to the Neoclassicism (Jacques-Louis David e Antonio Canova).

b) Monographic part: an in-depth study will be made of Guercino's atelier and pictorial technique.


It is requested to know the chapters of the textbook with reference to the period from the Renaissance to the Neoclassicism (from Leonardo da Vinci to Antonio Canova). The recommended textbooks are:

C. Bertelli, G. Briganti, A. Giuliano, Storia dell'arte italiana, Electa Mondadori, Milano, 1986, vol. 3, unità 15, 16, 17 18; vol. 4, unità 19. Also later prints: Lezioni di arte, Electa-Bruno Mondadori, vol. 2 e la sezione 12 del volume 3, or C. Bertelli, La storia dell'arte, edizioni scolastiche Bruno Mondadori, volumi 3 e 4.

P. De Vecchi, E. Cerchiari, Arte nel tempo, Bompiani, Milano 1991-1992 (and later prints), vol. 2, tomo I, parte II e tomo II, parti III e IV; vol. 3, tomo I, parte I.

G. Cricco, F. P. Di Teodoro, Itinerario nell'arte (versione gialla), Bologna, Zanichelli, 2006 (and later prints), vol. 3, unità 17, 18, 19, 20; vol. 4, unità 21, 22, 23, 24.

Monographical part:

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

Furthermore, it is requested to study one of the following books:

- Antonio Pinelli, La bella maniera. Artisti del Cinquecento tra regola e licenza, Torino, Einaudi, 1993 (and later prints).

- André Chastel, Il sacco di Roma (1527), Einaudi, Torino 1983 (and later prints);

- Giuliano Briganti, La maniera italiana, Roma 1961 (ried. 1985);

- Federico Zeri, Pittura e Controriforma: l'arte senza tempo di Scipione da Gaeta, N. Pozza, Vicenza, ed. 1997;

- Francis Haskell, Nicholas Penny, L'antico nella storia del gusto: la seduzione della scultura classica, 1500-1900, Torino, Einaudi, 1984;

- Enrico Castelnuovo, Il significato del ritratto pittorico nella società, in Storia d'Italia, vol. V, t. 2, Torino, Einaudi 1973, pp. 1033-1094;

- Roberto Longhi, Caravaggio, Roma, Editori Riuniti, 1977 (and later prints);

- Tomaso Montanari, Il Barocco, Torino, Einaudi 2012;

- Francis Haskell, Mecenati e pittori. L'arte e la società italiane nell'età barocca, terza edizione, Torino, Allemandi, 2000;

- Anna Ottani Cavina, Il Settecento e l'antico, in Storia dell'arte italiana, vol. VI, parte II, Torino, Einaudi, 1982, pp. 599-660;

- Antonio Pinelli, Il Neoclassicismo nell'arte del Settecento, Roma, Carocci, 2005.

Teaching methods

The course will consist of lectures (enriched by Power Point displays, download Insegnamenti OnLine).

Attending lectures is highly recommended. Non-attending students will find the contents of the lectures in the recommended readings and bibliography.

Study trips are planned to the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna and the Galleria Sabauda in Turin to visit the exhibitions dedicated to Guercino.

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, and the bibliography relating to the monographical part.

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