29533 - Iconography and Iconology (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

SDGs

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

By the end of the course, students will develop the necessary skills to analyze and interpret artworks, sacred and profane, and to orient themselves among the main sources and literature by images from which art took inspiration for centuries. Students will also learn Aby Warburg’s approach in the study of images.

Course contents

Arte Moderna A is an integrated examination of 12 CFU, composed of two modules (6 CFU+6 CFU): Iconography and Iconology (prof. Sonia Cavicchioli) and Painting in the Early Modern Period (prof. Daniele Benati). Therefore, the assessment and evaluation for Arte Moderna A follow specific procedures, i.e. both modules must be taken in the same examination session and the students must register simultaneously for both examinations.

The course aims to introduce Iconography and Iconology and the figure of Aby Warburg (1866-1929), whose research was essential to develop a new method of interpretation of images and art works, which investigates their meaning and function, and the role they play in cultural history. At the end of the course students will be aware of the methodology, of the tools for understanding sacred and profane images, and of the importance of the text/image relationship in Western art.

  • the changing meaning of images in the late ancient world;
  • sacred art and its biblical and theological sources;
  • reception of classical themes in Early modern and Modern European art;
  • astrology, allegorical themes and related literature.

 

 

N.B.

Due to the broad and complex topics, students are required to have a basic knowledge of art history, especially from the Middle Age to the XVIIIth century.

Readings/Bibliography

Attending students

- Class notes

- from A. Warburg, La rinascita del paganesimo antico: contributi alla storia della cultura, Firenze, Sansoni, 1966 [or later editions] or in the edition entitled La rinascita del paganesimo antico e altri scritti. 1889-1914, ed. by M. Ghelardi, Torino, Aragno, 2004, the following essays:

-- Arte del ritratto e borghesia fiorentina: Domenico Ghirlandaio in Santa Trinita (con appendice)

-- Arte fiamminga e primo Rinascimento fiorentino. Studi

-- Le ultime volontà di Francesco Sassetti

-- Arte italiana e astrologia internazionale nel Palazzo Schifanoia di Ferrara (con appendice)

-- L’ingresso dello stile ideale anticheggiante nella pittura di primo Rinascimento

+ from D. Freedberg, Il potere delle immagini (ed. or. Chicago 1989), Torino, Einaudi, 1993 (or later editions), the following chapters:

-- 1, Il potere delle immagini: reazione e repressione

-- 8, “Invisibilia per visibilia”: la meditazione e gli usi della teoria 

- E. Gombrich, Immagini simboliche. Studi sull’arte nel Rinascimento (London, 1972), Milano, Leonardo Arte, 2002 (o precedenti edizioni Einaudi)

- E. Panofsky, Il significato nelle arti visive, Torino, Einaudi, 1962

N.B. The powerpoint presentations  of the classes will be available for attending students.

 

Non-attending students

- A. Warburg, La rinascita del paganesimo antico: contributi alla storia della cultura, Firenze, Sansoni, 1966 [or later editions] or in the edition entitled La rinascita del paganesimo antico e altri scritti. 1889-1914, ed. by M. Ghelardi, Torino, Aragno, 2004: entire book.

- from D. Freedberg, Il potere delle immagini (ed. or. Chicago 1989), Torino, Einaudi, 1993 (or later editions), the following chapters:

-- 1, Il potere delle immagini: reazione e repressione

-- 8, “Invisibilia per visibilia”: la meditazione e gli usi della teoria

- E. Gombrich, Immagini simboliche. Studi sull’arte nel Rinascimento (London, 1972), Milano, Leonardo Arte, 2002 (o precedenti edizioni Einaudi)

- E. Panofsky, Il significato nelle arti visive, Torino, Einaudi, 1962

- R. Wittkower, Allegoria e migrazione dei simboli, (London, 1977), Torino, Einaudi, 1987

Teaching methods

Lectures, with powerpoint presentations and multimedia instruments; if allowed, 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

Students will take a written exam.

Attending students

The test will deal with issues considered during classes and in the books listed above.

Non attending students

The test will deal with issues considered in the books listed above.

The exam will consist in a written, multiple-choice answer test, submitted through a computerized system (for each question 4 answers will be provided, among which students will choose the right one). The result will be given immediately after the end of the test. Questions will deal with historical and cultural issues concerning main questions, discussed in classes and in the books (e.g. 'Who is the patron of x decoration?'). There will be, moreover, questions dealing with "text comprehension": quotations from the books, of which students are asked to get the meaning (e.g.: 'Wich statement can be correctly inferred from these words?'), and a significant space will also be given to critical reflections found in the texts, about which students are required to identify keywords or ideas.

The test is aimed at evaluating critical and methodological capabilities matured by the students, who will be invited to discuss the images and cultural contents dealt with during the course and in the readings. Students

It will be assessed as positive, even excellent, the performance of students achieving an organic vision of the course contents and the knowledge of the appropriate specific language.

It will be assessed as more than/barely sufficient the performance of students showing a basic knowledge of the course texts and recommended bibliography, notwithstanding learning gaps and inappropriate language. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation facing the pictures and within the recommended bibliography.

Teaching tools

Power Point presentations provided by the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Sonia Cavicchioli