78155 - Painting in the Modern Age (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Course contents

The course will consider the Modern painting. The course consists of two teaching modules: the first one will examine the painting in the Age of the Counter-Reformation in Rome, the second one will analyse the painting in the Age of the Counter-Reformation in Bologna.


A) Institutional part (for both 12 and 6 CFU)

Students has to know the chapters of an Art History textbook from the sixteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The following textbooks are recommended:

  • Giuliano Briganti, Carlo Bertelli, and Antonio Giuliano, Storia dell'arte italiana, Milan, Electa, 1986 (and reprints)

  • P. De Vecchi, E. Cerchiari, Arte nel tempo, Milan, Bompiani, 1991 (and reprints)

B) Monographic part:

For 12 CFU:

B1) «Painting in the Age of the Counter-Reformation in Rome»

  • Federico Zeri, Pittura e Controriforma. L’“arte senza tempo di Scipione da Gaeta, Torino, Einaudi, 1957 (reprint)

possibly to integrate with:

  • L’Eterno e il Tempo tra Michelangelo e Caravaggio, Antonio Paolucci, a cura di Andrea Bacchi, Daniele Benati, Paola Refice, Ulisse Tramonti, catalogo della mostra (Forlì 2018), Milano, Silvana, 2018.

B2) «Painting in the Age of the Counter-Reformation in Bologna» (one book and three essays).

  • Vera Fortunati, La metamorfosi della pala d’altare nel dibattito religioso del Cinquecento: il cantiere di San Giacomo, in Un’avventura artistica tra natura e idea, (collana “La pittura in Emilia e in Romagna. Il Cinquecento”), vol. I, Bologna, Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1994, pp. 218-243;

  • Daniele Benati, Annibale Carracci e il vero, in Annibale Carracci, catalogo della mostra (Bologna; Roma), a cura di Daniele Benati e Eugenio Riccòmini, Milano, Electa, 2006, pp. 18-37.

For 6 CFU: you should add to A) only one module chosen from B1 and B2.

Teaching methods

Lectures and tours guided by the teacher.

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 sixteenth to seventeenth centuries (preparation will be provided by the course lectures supplemented by textbook 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 readings.


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.

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

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

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

Teaching tools

Lectures with digital slides, which will be made available for students.

Office hours

See the website of Daniele Benati