90628 - Semiotics of the Visible: Practices (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Lucia Corrain

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-ART/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Visual Arts (cod. 9071)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Reduced inequalities Life on land Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have acquired specific knowledge and will have developed considerable expertise regarding both the matters discussed during the course and methodological skills to carry out scientific investigations to enhance the understanding of artworks. Students will also be able to engage positively in the development of personal and original research projects.

Course contents

The detail is a constituent element of a painting, a sculpture, or more generally a visual text, which belongs to a larger whole. Once identified and isolated, the detail is able to offer even unexpected "rewards" to the gaze of an observer capable of scrutinizing carefully. Approaching the visual through the details allows the emergence of what might not even come to light and also what might reopen consolidated problems.

Unlike the rapid and distant gaze, detail forces a close look that - as Daniel Arasse says about painting - "touches a feeling of intimacy, that of the painting, that of the painter, that of the very act of painting". The course will be dedicated precisely to the study of detail.


1. Testi obbligatori:

Daniel Arasse, Il dettaglio. La pittura vista da vicino, Il Saggiatore, Milano 1996.

Antonella Anedda, La vita dei dettagli, Donzelli editore, Roma 2009.

The students attending, in addition to the preparation of the two texts, will prepare an essay consisting of three details, accompanied by a commentary of about ten lines each and will propose their work in class to the other students; the best examples will form a virtual "exhibition" that will also be a practical exercise.

Students who are not attending will take a single oral exam concerning the mandatory texts and the focus and explanation of a detail of a work of art of their choice.

Teaching methods

Due to the restrictions imposed by the current health emergency, this teaching activity will be carried out in the following manner: 

Blended 1: the teacher will carry out part of the course remotely (max 50% of the hours). For a second part of the course, the students will alternate their presence in the classroom according to a schedule of shifts (more detailed information regarding the shifts and about the modalities to get access to the classroom lessons will be provided soon). It will always be possible to connect remotely and follow live lessons held in the classroom via the online platform TEAMS.

Assessment methods

The oral test – both for non-attending students and attending students – consists of a conversation whose aim is to evaluate the critical skills developed by the student who will have to prove that he or she possesses an appropriate knowledge of the books detailed in the syllabus.

1. The test in which the student shows he/she is able to analyse the texts deeply and is able to insert them in an organic vision of the themes studied. The expressive mastery used during the oral exam will also be fundamental.

2. Mostly mnemonic knowledge, non-in-depth analysis and correct language but not always appropriate regarding the texts to be studied will lead to satisfactory evaluations.

3. Approximate knowledge, superficial understanding, scarce capability of analysis and expressiveness that is not always appropriate will lead to an evaluation which is little more than satisfactory.

4. Learning gaps, unsuitable language, lack of orientation within the bibliographic materials to be studied in the syllabus will lead to a negative evaluation.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint and other hypermedia projections.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Corrain