30474 - Comparative History of European Arts in the Modern Age (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course will explore the essential features of European art of the modern age by means of a comparative method and by focusing on the paradigms of travel and exchange, on the codes and evolution of the genres, on the dynamics of the patronage and reception, on the instances of convergence and divergence of the iconographic and stylistic registers.

Course contents

The course aims to investigate some significant moments of European art along four privileged paths: 1) ‘“Eccentric” artists between Renaissance and Reformation’; 2)‘The everyday life in European painting of the second half of the sixteenth century’; 3) ‘Art and visual contemplation in seventeenth-century Europe’; 4)‘The portrait in the cosmopolitan Europe of Enlightenment’.

The lessons will start: Monday 18th March 2019

Class schedule

Monday, 9-11, Tuesday, 9-11, Wednesday, 9-11


A) The revision of the part of art history corresponding to the period relative to the chosen path is required.

For the revision, the recommended manual is as follows:

  • P. De Vecchi e E. Cerchiari, Arte nel tempo, Milano, Bompiani, 1991 (e successive ristampe)

B) Exam preparation must be carried out by choosing one of the four paths in which the course is organised.

First path: "Eccentric" artists "between Renaissance and Reformation". The texts on which to prepare are the following:

  • Amico Aspertini (1474-1552). Artista bizzarro nell’età di Dürer e Raffaello, catalogo della mostra (Bologna, Pinacoteca Nazionale, 27 settembre 2008 – 11 gennaio 2009), a cura di A. Emiliani e D. Scaglietti Kelescian, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano), Silvana Editoriale, 2008
  • E. Panofsky, La vita e le opere di Albrecht Dürer, 1967, ed. Milano, Abscondita, 2006

Second path: "The daily life in European painting of the second half of the sixteenth century". The texts on which to prepare are the following:

  • A. Ghirardi, Pittura e vita popolare: un sentiero tra Anversa e l’Italia nel secondo Cinquecento, Mantova, Tre Lune, 2016
  • D. Benati, Annibale Carracci e il vero, in Annibale Carracci, catalogo della mostra (Bologna; Roma), a cura di D. Benati e E. Riccòmini, Milano, Electa, 2006, pp. 18-37

Third path: «Art and visual contemplation in 17th century Europe». The texts on which to prepare are the following:

  • M. Fumaroli, Il Golgota bolognese, in La scuola del silenzio, Milano, Adelphi, 1995, pp. 257-458
  • Il Dio nascosto. I grandi maestri francesi del Seicento e l’immagine di Dio, catalogo della mostra (Roma, Accademia di Francia, 19 ottobre – 28 gennaio 2001), a cura di O. Bonfait e N. MacGregor, Roma, De Luca, 2001

Fourth path: «The portrait in the cosmopolitan Europe of Enlightenment». The texts on which to prepare are the following:

  • J. Starobinsky, L’invenzione della libertà (1700-1789), Milano, Abscondita, 2008
Luigi Crespi ritrattista nell’età di papa Lambertini, catalogo della mostra (Bologna, Museo Davia Bargellini, 15 settembre – 3 dicembre 2018), a cura di I. Graziani e M.G. D’Apuzzo, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano), Silvana Editoriale, 2018

Teaching methods

Lectures and tours guided by the teacher.

Assessment methods

The examination will be an interview intended to verify whether students have acquired the critical tools of the discipline and thus are able to connect together the notions learned. It will evaluate the degree to which students have achieved a firm grasp of the artistic and historical issues and a fully developed critical awareness.

During the interview, students must demonstrate that they 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

• identify and analyse the most significant works;

• develop personal reflections;

• demonstrate a critical understanding of the various issues discussed;

• use correct terminology.

A student's full development of a comprehensive vision of the issues, as well as originality of reflection and familiarity with the specific language and the artwork analysis tools, will mark an outstanding achievement.

A knowledge of the subject matter that proves to be mostly mechanical or mnemonic but still shows a capacity of synthesis and analysis (whether articulated or not), use of a language that albeit proper is not consistently appropriate, and an unsteady grasp of the topics of the course, will mark an above average achievement.

Deficiencies in knowledge, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliography and inability to analyse, will mark an unsatisfactory achievement.

The assessment procedure is the same for students who attend or do not attend lectures.

Teaching tools

Lectures with digital slides.

Office hours

See the website of Irene Graziani