30472 - Iconography and Iconology (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class, the student will acquire a good knowledge of the researches of Warburg and of Warburg's heritage, and will be aware of the outlines of iconographical/iconological approach. The student will consciously study the meaning of art works, and comprehend the relevance of images for the history of culture. 

Course contents

Course contents

This course is divided in two parts.

The general part aims to introduce Iconography and Iconology and the figure of Aby Warburg (1866-1929), whose researches were essential to develop a new method of intepretation of images and art works. This method investigates their meaning and function, and the role they play in cultural history. Students will be also provided with the tools for understanding sacred and prophane images. More specifically, this course will deal with:

  • development of Christian iconography in the late ancient world;
  • art devoted to the Virgin Mary and its biblical and theological sources;
  • reception of classical books in Renaissance art: Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Eneid;
  • emblems, devices and related literature in the XVIth century;
  • astrology and Fortune in the interior decoration.

The monographic part will deal with funerals and ephemeral funeral settings during the Ancien Régime, looking closely at the Este family in Ferrara and Modena between the end of the XVIth century and the XVIIth century, and especially at the church of Sant’Agostino in Modena, re-shaped as Pantheon Atestinum (1662-1663).

N.B.

As this course will deal with a broad and complex subject, students are required to have a basic knowledge of art history, especially of the Middle Age to the XVIIIth century.

Readings/Bibliography

Syllabus for attending students

General part
I. a. Methods

- Class notes

- R. Salvini, Iconologia e critica, da “Festschrift für Wolfgang Krönig”, Düsseldorf 1971 [now in Idem, Medioevo Nordico e Medioevo Mediterraneo, edited by M. Salvini, Firenze, SPES, 1987, vol. II (1964-1985), pp. 391-407

-A. Warburg, La rinascita del paganesimo antico: contributi alla storia della cultura, scritti raccolti da G. Bing, Firenze, Sansoni, 1966 [o successive edizioni] oppure nell’edizione che reca il titolo La rinascita del paganesimo antico e altri scritti. 1889-1914, a cura di M. Ghelardi, Torino, Aragno, 2004

I. b. Texts

- E. Panofsky, La scultura funeraria dall’Antico Egitto a Bernini, (London, 1964), Torino, Einaudi, 2011 (o edizioni precedenti)

- M. Fumaroli, Visione e preghiera: “L’incontro di Gesù con san Giovanni Battista” di Guido Reni, (Paris, 1994), in La scuola del silenzio, Milano, Adelphi, 1995 (o altre edizioni), pp. 291-458

II. Monographic part

“The death theatre”. Funeral display in Modena and in Europa Sixteenth- to Seventeenth-Century

1 Giovanni Ricci, Il principe e la morte. Corpo, cuore, effigie nel Rinascimento, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1998

2 Gérard Sabatier, Le roi est mort, in Le roi est mort – Louis XIV -1715, catalogo della mostra, Paris, Tallandier- Château de Versailles, 2015, pp. 17-31

or

Alice Jarrard, Portraits: Working Images of the Prince, in Architecture as Performance in Seventeenth-Century Europe. Court Ritual in Modena, Rome, and Paris, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 133-167

3 Claudia Conforti, La pompa funeraria di Francesco I d’Este (1659)

and Sonia Cavicchioli, “L’Occidente degli Eroi” in Sant’Agostino. L’iconografia degli Stucchi e dei dipinti, in La Chiesa di Sant’Agostino a Modena. Pantheon Atestinum, Modena, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, 2002, pp. 52-63 e pp. 64-77 (immagini alle pp. 79-95)

Syllabus for non-attending students

I. General part

I. a. Methods

- R. Van Straten, Introduzione all’iconografia, (2002), Milano, Jaca Book, 2009

- R. Salvini, Iconologia e critica, da “Festschrift für Wolfgang Krönig”, Düsseldorf 1971 [now in Idem, Medioevo Nordico e Medioevo Mediterraneo, edited by M. Salvini, Firenze, SPES, 1987, vol. II (1964-1985), pp. 391-407

- A. Warburg, La rinascita del paganesimo antico: contributi alla storia della cultura, scritti raccolti da G. Bing, Firenze, Sansoni, 1966 [or later editions] or in the edition entitled La rinascita del paganesimo antico e altri scritti. 1889-1914, edited by M Ghelardi, Torino, Aragno, 2004

- R. Wittkower, Allegoria e migrazione dei simboli, (London, 1977), Torino, Einaudi, 1987, add the G. Romano’r introduction, pp. XXV-XLIX

I. b. Texts

- E. Panofsky, La scultura funeraria dall’Antico Egitto a Bernini, (London, 1964), Torino, Einaudi, 2011 (or former editions)

- M. Fumaroli, Visione e preghiera: “L’incontro di Gesù con san Giovanni Battista” di Guido Reni, (Paris, 1994), in La scuola del silenzio, Milano, Adelphi, 1995 (or different editions)

II. Monographic part

“The death theatre”. Funeral display in Modena and in Europa Sixteenth- to Seventeenth-Century

1 Giovanni Ricci, Il principe e la morte. Corpo, cuore, effigie nel Rinascimento, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1998

2 Gérard Sabatier, Le roi est mort, in Le roi est mort – Louis XIV -1715, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Tallandier- Château de Versailles, 2015, pp. 17-31

or

Alice Jarrard, Portraits: Working Images of the Prince, in Architecture as Performance in Seventeenth-Century Europe. Court Ritual in Modena, Rome, and Paris, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 133-167

3 Claudia Conforti, La pompa funeraria di Francesco I d’Este (1659)

and Sonia Cavicchioli, “L’Occidente degli Eroi” in Sant’Agostino. L’iconografia degli Stucchi e dei dipinti, in La Chiesa di Sant’Agostino a Modena. Pantheon Atestinum, Modena, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, 2002, pp. 52-63 e pp. 64-77 (images pp. 79-95)

Teaching methods

Lectures with multimedia instruments; on-site inspections and guided visits.

Assessment methods

Attending students will take two partial examinations: a written part (open question test) to verify the knowledge of the topics discussed in the course (part I.a), and an oral interview on texts (Part I.b and monographic part). For the preparation of the written part, the powerpoints of the lectures will be available by a distribution list.

Non-attending students will take a single oral interview on all the parts of the syllabus.

The written part and the interview are aimed to evaluate the critical and methodological capabilities matured by the students, who will be invited to discuss the images and cultural contents dealt with during the course. Students will be particularly evaluated in their capabilities to autonomously and critically deal with the course contents and the bibliography.

It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, the critical reflection as well as the familiarity with the topics discussed.

It will be assessed as discrete the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, not articulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of the topics of the course. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the course texts and recommended bibliography. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation before the pictures and within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyse the discipline.

Teaching tools

Power Point presentations provided by the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Sonia Cavicchioli