13355 - Psychology of Art (1)

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After completing the course students: - know different approaches psychology of art; - recognise peculiarities of different methods in art’s cultural dimension understanding; - acquire critical tools and are able to evaluate key issues about visual experience.

Course contents

The course aims to introduce main theoretical and methodological issues provided by psychology of art approaches (psychodynamics/ psychoanalysis; psychology of perception; experimental aesthetics; neurosciences) in order to investigate visual arts and images experience.



Three texts at your choice from the following reading list:

E. Gombrich, Freud e la psicologia dell’arte, Einaudi, Torino 2001 (or subsequent editions).

S. Ferrari, Nuovi lineamenti di una psicologia dell'arte, Clueb, Bologna, 2012.

R. Arnheim, Arte e percezione visiva, Feltrinelli, Milano 2000 (or subsequent editions) [chapters 1-4: (Equilibrio, pp. 31-54); 2 (Configurazione, pp. 55-92); 3 (Forma, pp. 93-141); 4 (Sviluppo, pp. 142-186)].

E. Kandel, Arte e neuroscienze. Le due culture a confronto, Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2017.

V. Gallese, M. Guerra, Lo schermo empatico. Cinema e neuroscienze, Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2015.

N.B. Attending/non attending students

The reading list is the same for all the students, attending or not.

Nevertheless, further bibliographical suggestions will be provided  throughout the course: only for attending students some suggested texts could stand in for one book listed above.


Teaching methods

Lectures with PowerPoint and audio-visual projections; teaching material on VIRTUALE.


Assessment methods

Interview. Students are required to prove the proper knowledge and critical understanding of the selected texts.

Assessment system

  • It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, using a proper specific language and demonstrating originality of reflection.
  • It will be assessed as good the performance of those students demonstrating a correct knowledge of the topics, good analysis and synthesis capabilities, and using an appropriate language.
  • It will be assessed as sufficient the performance of those students showing mostly mnemonic knowledge and a not always appropriate language.
  • It will be assessed as insufficient (failing grade) the performance of those students demonstrating learning gaps, inappropriate language and lack of orientation within the topics.

To take the exam students shall register on AlmaEsami respecting the deadlines.

N.B. Students already registered who decide not to take the exam are kindly required to unregister before the deadline (see Exam sessions - Subscriptions list: opened from …. to …). This will facilitate the organisation of the session for the benefit of those students who will take the exam.


Teaching tools

Power point; videos; teaching material on VIRTUALE; class exercises.

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Tartarini