96401 - Phenomenology of Medieval and Early Modern Art. Laboratory (A-L)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Drama, Art and Music Studies (cod. 5821)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the laboratory the student: is able to analyze the complexity of the meaning of art; through the analysis of the way historiography discloses its achievements comprehends how, at different levels, medieval and early modern painting, sculpture, and architecture can help his/her own enhancement, can implement the quality of life as well as provide tools for professional improvement.

Course contents

The Exam “Phenomenology of Medieval and Modern Art” is composed of two courses: “Phenomenology of Medieval and Modern Art. Institutions” (prof. Benati) and “Phenomenology of Medieval and Modern Art. Workshop” (prof. Graziani). “Phenomenology of Medieval and Modern Art” is an integrated exam of 12 CFU (6 CFU+6 CFU) and the verification and evaluation of the preparation follow the procedures laid down for an integrated exam, i.e. they must be taken in the same session and the students must therefore register simultaneously for both exams.

The “Workshop” will consist of preparatory lessons that will focus on tools and practices necessary for carrying out art-historical research (such as: consulting online library catalogues; and compiling a bibliography, according to editorial style guides); on significant cases related to museum activities, aimed at promoting and enhancing the art-historical heritage. Other meetings will be devoted to field study with visits to monuments, museums and galleries (as far as the health situation allows).

Group activities will follow, carried out by the attending students, with the aim of developing research projects, which will be discussed and submitted during the course.

The lessons will start: Monday 18 March 2024

Class schedule

Monday, 13-15, Tuesday, 13-15, Wednesday, 15-17


A- For all students whether attending or not a text of your choice from the following list:

- Fritz Saxl, Continuità e variazione nel significato delle immagini, in Fritz Saxl, La storia delle immagini, Bari, Laterza, 2000, pp. 3-30;

- Erwin Panofsky, Suger abate di Saint-Denis, in Erwin Panofsky, Il significato delle arti visive, Torino, Einaudi 1996 (and later editions), pp. 107-145;

- Cesare Gnudi, Il Maestro dei Mesi di Ferrara e la lunetta di San Mercuriale a Forlì, e Il ruolo dell’Italia nel Duecento, in Cesare Gnudi, L’arte gotica in Francia e in Italia, Torino, Einaudi, 1982, pp. 86-95, e 152-161;

- Luciano Bellosi, Il Pittore Oltremontano di Assisi. Il gotico a Siena e la formazione di Simone Martini, edited by Roberto Bartalini, Roma, Gangemi Editore, 2004, pp. 9-22;

- Cesare Gnudi, Il pulpito di Giovanni Pisano a Pistoia, and Il ruolo dell’Italia nel Duecento, in Cesare Gnudi, L’arte gotica in Francia e in Italia, Torino, Einaudi, 1982, pp. 9-20, and pp. 152-161;

- Roberto Longhi, Giotto spazioso, in «Paragone. Arte», 3, 1952, 31, pp. 18-24;

- Enrico Castelnuovo, Prospettiva italiana e microcosmo fiammingo, Milano, Fabbri, 1966 (“I maestri del colore”, n. 259);

- Carlo Volpe, Paolo Uccello a Bologna, in «Paragone. Arte», 31, 1980, n. 365, pp. 3-28; new ed. in Carlo Volpe, La pittura nell’Emilia e nella Romagna. Raccolta di scritti sul Trecento e Quattrocento, edited by Daniele Benati, Lucia Peruzzi, Modena, Artioli, 1993, pp. 102-123;

- Enrico Castelnuovo, L’Europa all’aprirsi del Cinquecento, Milano, Fabbri, 1966 (“I Maestri del Colore”, n. 262);

- Cesare Gnudi, introductory essay to the exhibition catalogue L’ideale classico del Seicento in Italia e la pittura di paesaggio, Alfa, Bologna, 1962, pp. 3-37 (new ed. in Cesare Gnudi, L’ideale classico, Nuova Alfa Ed., Bologna, 1986, pp. 55-85);

- Giuliano Briganti, Barocco: storia della parola e fortuna critica del concetto, in Enciclopedia Universale dell’Arte, vol. II, Venezia‐Roma, Istituto per la collaborazione culturale, 1958, coll. 345‐359;

- Roberto Longhi, Prefazione, in Mostra celebrativa di Giuseppe Maria Crespi, exhib. catalogue (Bologna, Salone del Podestà, giugno-luglio 1948; Milano, Castello Sforzesco, settembre - ottobre 1948), edited by Francesco Arcangeli e Cesare Gnudi, [S.l.: s.n.], 1948 (Bologna, Tip. Compositori), pp. 13-22 (new ed. in Roberto Longhi, Studi e ricerche sul Sei e Settecento, 1929-1970, Firenze, Editore Sansoni, 1991, pp. 145-150;

B - Non-attending students – in addition to a text of their choice from the essays listed above – will also need to study the following additional text below:

- Ernst Kris e Otto Kurz, La leggenda dell’artista, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 1980 (and more recent editions)

Some of the cited texts will be available in the “Teaching material” of the course.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures with the help of image projection and tours guided by the teacher; workshop.

The teacher will always be present personally in the indicated classroom during this teaching activity.

Assessment methods

The examination procedure differs depending on whether you are an attending or a non-attending student.

For both attending and non-attending students, the result of the “Workshop” exam will be averaged with the “Phenomenology of Medieval and Modern Art. Institutions”, held by Prof. Benati.

As far as the “Workshop of Phenomenology” is concerned, the attending students – divided into groups – will discuss orally, during the course, a ppt/pdf presentation (maximum size: 15 slides), focused on a single case study, which will have to be first agreed with the teacher and must be relevant to the topics covered during the lessons. The result of this presentation will be added to the outcome of the interview – regarding the text indicated in the programme (see letter A, “for all students” in Texts/Bibliography) – which will be sustained during the final oral examination and will concern both the courses (“Workshop” held by Prof. Graziani and “Phenomenology of Medieval and Modern Art. Institutions” held by Prof. Benati).

For non-attending students, the assessment of the learning will consist of an oral exam, in which each student will have to illustrate a ppt/pdf presentation (maximum size: 15 slides), based on an in-depth study, starting from one of the texts referred to as “for all students” (see A, Texts/Bibliography); this presentation will have to be accompanied by the reference bibliography, used by the student and compiled, according to the editorial guidelines (“Teaching material” of the course“Teaching material” of the course). Each student must also provide a critical discussion concerning the additional text indicated in the programme and recommended for non-attending students (see under B, Texts/Bibliography). The result of presentation will be added to the outcome obtained in the interview concerning the examination of the knowledge acquired in the “Phenomenology of Medieval and Modern Art. Institutions” course, held by Prof. Benati.


Evaluation of the oral examination will follow the usual principle of judging excellence to mean evidence of a solid artistic and historical grounding and of a mature critical awareness.

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 early modern 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, a 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 Irene Graziani