30463 - Forms and Functions of Medieval Art (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, student acquires knowledge of the history of Medieval art, from the fifth to the fifteenth century. The student explores issues related to the figurative systems (painting, sculpture, arts and crafts) implemented in the Italian area and European reference to the religious requirements, political and cultural factors that have determined them that allow him to develop the ability to read the Art phenomenon in its many components.

Course contents

“From Greek to Latin”: the propagation of giottesque language in the Po Valley

The course will examine the different phases of the renewal of pictorial language in the Po Valley caused by Giotto’s activity in Assisi, Rimini, Padua, Florence and later, in the 1330s, in Bologna and Milan.

The course takes place in the first semester and is divided into two parts of 30 hours of lessons each, corresponding to 6 CFU.

LM students in Visual Arts will have to refer to both parts (12 CFU exam), while LM students in Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Language Sciences will only refer to the first part (6 CFU Exam).

First part (6 cfu)

The Giotto’s career (prof. Daniele Benati)

Second part (6cfu)

Giottesque Case History in the Po Valley (dott. Fabio Massaccesi)

Readings/Bibliography

For 12 CFU

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

First part (6 CFU):

One text chosen from the following:

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

Second part (6 cfu)

One text chosen from the following:

- Carlo Volpe, Il lungo percorso del “dipingere dolcissimo e tanto unito”, in Storia dell’arte italiana, Einaudi, Torino, V, 1983, pp. 229-304;

- Il Trecento riminese. Maestri e botteghe tra Romagna e Marche, ed. by Daniele Benati, exhibition catalogue (Rimini), Electa, Milano, 1995;

- Giotto e le arti a Bologna al tempo di Bertrando del Poggetto, ed. by Massimo Medica, exhibition catalogue (Bologna), Silvana, Milano, 2005;

- Giovanni Baronzio e la pittura a Rimini nel Trecento, ed. by Daniele Ferrara, exhibition catalogue (Roma), Silvana, Milano, 2008 (particularly essays by Benati D., Massaccesi F., Medica M., and entries).

For 6 CFU

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

One text chosen from the following:

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

Teaching methods

The teacher assigns great importance not only to ordinary lectures, but also to the workshop of connoisseurship.

Attending lectures is highly recommended. Who cannot attend classes could consult the readings in the bibliography.

The students should run through the history of medieval art from the 13th to the 15th century. The teacher recommends that who has never done a class of History of medieval art will study a manual of Art History from the Late Antique to the end of the Quattrocento.

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed in two ways:

- by means of a written text concerning the general context which will have the objective of testing the student’s knowledge of the socio-artistic fabric with reference to the XIII, XIV and XV centuries (preparation will be provided by the course lectures supplemented by coursebook study). This exam will involve the projection of ten images of works of art. Each image will be screened for 5 minutes during which time the candidate must fill in a profile indicating the work’s historical context and, if possible, the name of the artist. The candidate may repeat the test but a poor result will not prevent admission to the oral test, although it will count towards the final result.

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

Evaluation

The written test will be marked as follows:

- Correct image recognition (artist, subject, date, place of storage, short critical reading of its iconographic aspects, historical context and stylistic characteristics): on a scale of 1 to 3 points;

- Incorrect identification or failure to identify the image: zero points.

The pass mark is 18/30.

The written test counts for a third of the final mark (10/30).

The written exam can be sat whenever there is an oral exam session.

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

Lectures with powerpoint, shared in the end of the lessons.

Tours guided by the teacher, which will be considered very important for the training of the students.

Office hours

See the website of Daniele Benati

See the website of Fabio Massaccesi