11213 - Semiotics of Art

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The students have to face the learning of the most important tools of visual semiotics theory. In particular, they will know the distinction between plastic level and figurative level, the enunciation theory, sensoriality, passional dimension, etc. and they will be able to use these tools to visual text analysis.

Course contents

This year's course, entitled Art and its spectators, will examine the methodological problems related to the relationship art establishes with its spectators. The first part will focus on basic theoretical concepts; the second part will cover their practical application. In this regard, different types of texts will be considered: from paintings to installation.The title of the course is Art and its spectators. It will be focused on basic theorical and methodological aspects of the visual fruition. We'll take into account different texts: from paintings to installation. And from self-portrait to selfie.


A.-J. GREIMAS, “Semiotica figurativa e semiotica plastica”, in Fabbri, P., Marrone, G., a cura di, Semiotica in nuce II, Meltemi, Roma 2001, pp. 196-210 (scaricabile in pdf su AMS CAMPUS).

M. SCHAPIRO, Per una semiotica del linguaggio visivo, Meltemi, Roma 2002.

L. CORRAIN, a cura di, Semiotiche della pittura. I classici, le ricerche, Meltemi, Roma 2004 (scaricabile integralmente in pdf dall’inizio del corso su AMS Campus).

O. CALABRESE, L'arte dell'autoritratto. Storia e teoria di un genere pittorico, la casa Usher, Firenze 2010

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

For the attending students

For the attending students there will be two partial tests: the first one in which they will have to prepare the first two text as indicated in the Bibliography, which will be held in the second half of the course; the second after the end of the course. In order to be able to access the second test it is necessary to have passed the first one: the two texts make up the basis for honing the second part of the exam. In the second pre-test the student must prepare the remaining texts and the analysis of a painting or another artistic object to be agreed upon with the lecturer.

The non-attending students

The non-attending students will take a single oral exam concerning all the parts of the syllabus. Oral examination aimed to assess the critical skills acquired during the course by the students, who are expected to deal with the texts in the syllabus according to the teacher’s analysis methods during the lectures. Students shall demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the recommended readings.

1. It will be graded as excellent the performance of those students demonstrating to be able to thoroughly analyze the texts and know how to put them into an organic view of the topics of the course. A proper use of the specific language during the interview will be also essential.

2. It will be graded as discrete the performance of those students with a mostly mnemonic knowledge, no in-depth analysis capabilities, and a correct, but not always appropriate, language of the recommended texts.

3. It will be graded as barely sufficient the performance of those students with an approximate knowledge, superficial understanding, poor analytical capabilities and an inappropriate language.

4. It will be graded as non-sufficient the performance of those students with learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography

Teaching tools

In addition to lectures, power-point presentations, movies and documentaries will be used to support the teaching.

Links to further information

http://(http://www.dav.unibo.it/Dav/default.htm) per iscrizione on line agli esami e per ogni altra informazione riguardante i giorni e gli orari

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Corrain