41820 - Comparative History of Art in European Countries (1)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will be aware of the most relevant moments of European Art history in Early Modern age; they will be able to compare patronage, iconography,and artistic genre exchanges.

Course contents

Art in Europe in Modern Age. Production centers, patronages, artists

The course investigates the arts through topics allowing the analysis and comprehension of main facts from XVth to XIXth century in Europe in a transcultural and synchronic perspective. For this reason the course is divided into four parts, highlighting essential moments of artistic and cultural development, and constantly keeping in mind the relationship between European areas and Italy.

  1. XVth-Century art in Italy and Low Countries. The routes of merchants and artists
  2. German and Italian art at the beginning of the XVIth Century
  3. Courts and cities. Rome and Paris vs Atwerp and Delft in the XVIIth Century
  4. Artists in Europe in the age of the Grand Tour between XVIIIth and XIXth centuries


 6 cfu Exam

Attending students

1. Class notes

2. Dürer e il Rinascimento tra Germania e Italia, catalogo della mostra, ed. by B. Aikema, Milano 2018, essays (pp. 126-133; 214-221; 244-249) and Catalogue entries, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 ;

3. Two (2) books chosen within the List below

N.B. Powerpoint presentations of the classes and pages from the catalogue Dürer e il Rinascimento (2.) will be shared with students

Non attending students

1. 5 minutes presentation of a monument or work of art chosen by the student, belonging to European art history (1400-1815 circa)

2. Dürer e il Rinascimento tra Germania e Italia, catalogo della mostra, ed. by B. Aikema, Milano 2018, essays (pp. 126-133; 214-221; 244-249) and Catalogue entries, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 ;

3. Three (3) books chosen within the List below

N.B. pages from the catalogue Dürer e il Rinascimento (2.) will be available on the teacher’s website, section “Contenuti utili”

List of books (point 3)

S. Alpers, Arte del descrivere. Scienza e pittura nel Seicento olandese (Chicago, 1983), Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1984

S. Alpers, L'officina di Rembrandt: l'atelier e il mercato (Chicago, 1988), Torino, Einaudi, 1990

L. Barroero, Le arti e i Lumi, Torino, Einaudi, 2011

M. Baxandall, Scultori in legno del Rinascimento tedesco (London, 1980), Torino, Einaudi, 1989

A. Chastel, Architettura e cultura nella Francia del Cinquecento (Paris, 1989), Torino, Einaudi, 1991

D. Frascarelli, L’arte del dissenso. Pittura e libertinismi nell’Italia del Seicento, Torino, Einaudi, 2016

O. Rossi Pinelli, Le arti nel Settecento europeo, Torino, Einaudi, 2009

Roma 1630. Il trionfo del pennello, catalogo della mostra, Milano, Electa, 1994, saggi di G. Briganti, M. Fumaroli, O. Bonfait, S. Ebert-Schifferer, Y. Bonnefoy (pp. 23-126) e, nel catalogo, schede dei dipinti alle pp. 128-227

J. Starobinski, La scoperta della libertà. 1700-1789 (Génève, 1964), Milano, Fabbri, 1965

9 cfu Exam

(Students of the Scuola di Lingue e Letterature, Traduzione e Interpretazione)

Students are requested to know European early modern art history (1400 - 1815 circa). The study of the handbook is therefore mandatory: 

. S. Settis, T. Montanari, Arte. Una storia naturale e civile, Milano, Mondadori Education:

vol. 3, Dal Quattrocento alla Controriforma, the whole;

vol. 4, Dal Barocco all’Impressionismo, sections I, II, III, IV, V


For "Corsi singoli" (cod. 41820 o 89981: 6 cfu exams)

see Italian version. 



Teaching methods

Lectures with powerpoint presentations and multimedia instruments; if possible, on-site inspections and guided visits. Students are encouraged to play and active role within the course, through questions, comments and observations related to the lesson topics.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the current health emergency, this teaching activity will be carried out with the Traditional method, i.e. the course will be taught in presence in the indicated classroom. Students will take turns on the basis of a calendar which will be defined at the beginning of the course (more detailed information about the calendar and the modalities to get access to the classroom lessons will be provided soon). It will always be possible to connect remotely and to follow live lessons via the online platform TEAMS.

Assessment methods

The exam will be oral. Students will be asked to:

- recognize 3 works of art taken from the handbook (9 cfu students)

- critical discussion of bibliography and class notes.

It will aim to assess whether the students have developed critical skills during the course. Students will be required to demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the bibliography specified in the syllabus.

1. It will be graded as excellent the performance of those students demonstrating to be able to thoroughly analyse the works of art and the texts, and to put them into an organic view of the topics discussed during the course. The proper use of the specific language during the examination will be also essential.

2. It will be graded as discrete the performance of those students with 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 approximate knowledge, superficial understanding, poor analytical capabilities and a not always appropriate language.

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

Teaching tools

Power Point presentations provided by the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Sonia Cavicchioli