27276 - Laboratory (1) (F. Ic)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop students will be able to plan a research path, collecting, selecting and organizing data and documentary information thanks to the specific tools acquired during the course unit; they will be able to analyse documentary, material and iconographic sources in a critical light and from a diachronic perspective. They will able to write a short text without assistance. They will have learned to be methodologically rigorous and precise. Attuned to group work, they will have learned judgment on a professional, human and ethical plane.

Course contents

Metodologie delle fonti iconografiche

L’iconografia come scienza ausiliaria della storia (6 CFU)

Through the analysis of specific iconographic documents and of ancient medieval paintings, this laboratory intends to provide a complementary interpretation of the historical period in which an object has been dated, highlighting all the details relevant to the specific and iconographic choice of style

The aim is to accustom the student to data browsing, interpretation and possibly to the use of iconographic texts which often can implement written evidence and explain peculiar features of a specific historical phase.

The laboratory is necessarily organized in seminars. The multimedia posts in Morandi room allow to independently develop a real-time search through specifically suited databases, in order to stimulate the discussion on either diffused or hidden or absent subjects and symbolisms.

The first lessons will be dedicated to introducing relevant medieval figurative themes using powerpoint presentations interactively developed through the databases browsing.

The second part of the laboratory will be focused on the mosaic of the Otranto Cathedral. This represents a whole age – the one of Norman Puglia, governed by Guglielmo il Malo- and is the synthesis of a whole cultural universe where different themes and motifs from different cultural traditions fuse together. This mosaic, ordered by the Gionata archbishop, has been executed by the Pantaleone presbyter during 1163-1165 years and is rich in marvellous iconographic themes; for this reason and for its several figurative insights, it will be the subject for the students’ individual or group experimental work.

Lesson 1: Introduction to the main digital databases suited for iconographic research (Alinari, Scala, Gallica, Metropolitan Museum, british Library, ecc.)

Lesson 2: The common good– Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 3: The devil - Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 4: The woman between fame and infamy- Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 5: Towns and towers - Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 6: Food and images 1 - Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 7: Food and images 2 - Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 8: Falconry East- Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 9: Falconry West - Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 10: Landscape and Art - Theme analysis – databases practical training. 

Lesson 11: Figurative sources of Dante's Divine Comedy - Theme analysis – databases practical training.

Lesson 12-15: Mosaic floor of Otranto Cathedral - Theme analysis – databases practical training.


C. A.Willemsen, L'enigma di Otranto. Il mosaico pavimentale del presbitero Pantaleone nella Cattedrale, Galatina, Congedo, 1980.

C. Frugoni, voce Iconografia e Iconologia, in Enciclopedia dell'Arte medievale, 1996 consultabile al sito:http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/iconografia-e-iconologia_%28Enciclopedia-dell%27-Arte-Medievale%29/

M. Fasano, L. Pasquini, G. Barba, Otranto, il mosaico, il viaggio di Seth. Ricerche per il documentario di creazione Il viaggio di Seth ad Otranto, prefazione di Franco Cardini, Bologna, Sattva Films, 2009.

Il bene comune: forme di governo e gerarchie sociali nel basso Medioevo, Atti del 48. Convegno storico internazionale, Todi, 9-12 ottobre 2011, Spoleto : Fondazione Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo, 2012.

Paesaggi, comunità, villaggi medievali, Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio, Bologna, 14-16 gennaio 2010, a cura di Paola Galetti, Spoleto, Fondazione Centro italiano studi sull'alto Medioevo, 2012.

Il diavolo nel Medioevo, Atti del 49. Convegno storico internazionale, Todi, 14-17 ottobre 2012Spoleto : Fondazione Centro italiano di studi sull'Alto Medioevo, 2013.

Anna Laura Trombetti, Laura Pasquini, Bologna delle torri. Uomini, pietre, artisti dal Medioevo a Giorgio Morandi, Firenze, Edifir, 2013

J. Bashet, L'iconografia medievale, Milano, Jaca book, 2014.

L. Pasquini, Diavoli e inferni nel Medioevo. Origine e sviluppo delle immagini dal VI al XV secolo, Padova, Il Poligrafo, 2015.

L'alimentazione nell'alto Medioevo: pratiche, simboli, ideologie, Spoleto, 9-14 aprile 2015, Spoleto, Fondazione Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo, 2016.

L. Pasquini, Iconografie dantesche, Ravenna, Longo, 2008, ristampa Ravenna, Longo, 2018.

Teaching methods

frontal lessons with seminar sections and compulsory attendance

Assessment methods

The exam consist of a short power point presentation outlining a research path to the main issues analysed during lessons or on different themes chosen by the students and agreed with the teacher.

The assessment will concentrate particularly on the skill displayed by the student in handling the sources and material in the exam bibliography and his ability to find and use information and examples to illustrate and correlate the various themes and problems addressed in the course.

The assessment will thus examine the student's:

- factual knowledge of the subject;
- ability to summarise and analyse themes and concepts;
- familiarity with the terminology associated with the subject and his ability to use it effectively.

Top marks will be awarded to a student displaying an overall understanding of the topics discussed during the lectures, combined with a critical approach to the material and a confident and effective use of the appropriate terminology.

Average marks will be awarded to a student who has memorized the main points of the material and is able to summarise them satisfactorily and provide an effective critical commentary, while failing to display a complete command of the appropriate terminology.

A student will be deemed to have failed the exam if he displays significant errors in his understanding and failure to grasp the overall outlines of the subject, together with a poor command of the appropriate terminology.

Teaching tools

Exercitations on specific tools will be provided; explanatory paths will be created, aimed to realizing power point presentations or papers (for individual or group works) on themes chosen by students.

Office hours

See the website of Laura Pasquini