90650 - Medieval Art

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 Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students acquire the fundamental knowledge in history of Medieval art and they develop the necessary skills to familiarize themselves with the artistic production of the period. In particular, they are able to analyse some of the main works of the history of Medieval art using specific methodologies, and they compare these works to one another appropriately.

Course contents

ART, ARTISTS, PATRONAGE, ARTIFICE AND INVENTION IN THE FRANCISCAN ORDER

The course intends to investigate the arts through themes able to read in a transversal and synchronic way the works of art in their context (XIII-XV century). For this reason the course is divided into two parts.

The first part (I) will focus on the study of artistic phenomena and their development with particular attention to the mendicant orders (Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians). Attention will also be paid to the material aspects, techniques, form and function of the works of art (architecture, paintings, frescoes, illuminated books) in relation to the liturgy, architecture, accesses and pilgrimage routes.

The second part (II) will be focused on monographic terms of the spatial and decorative restitution of one of the most significant European monuments: the basilica of San Francesco in Assisi.

Some of the topics that will be covered:

Holy space

Organizing the Liturgy

The Community

The changing imagery of Saint Francis: Sanctity pictured

Painting and devotion

Experiencing Franciscan churches

Order, gender and image

Readings/Bibliography

For attending and not attending students for the first part (I) I suggest studying these titles as “Manuale”: Gardner’s Art through the Ages. A Global Hisotry, vol. I, Fred S. Kleiner, cap. Early medieval art, Sixteenth Edition 2018, pp. 319-441; C. R. Dodwell, The pictorial arts of the West 800-1200, Yale University press, 1993, pp. 157-190.

For the European art (France, Germany and Italy), I suggest that book: Marylin Stokstad, Medieval Art, New York 2004, capp. 8, 9, 10.

It must also be chosen one chapter of the book: A Companion to Medieval Art, edited by Conrad Rudolph, New York 2019.

More in general I suggest: Veronica Sekules, Medieval Art, Oxford University press, 2001;

Roger Stalley, Early Medieval Architecture, Oxford University press, 1999.

I also recommend consulting related entries in:

The Grove Enciclopedia of Medieval Art e and Architecture, Editor in Chief Colum P. Hourihane, Oxford University press, 2012;

Dictionnaire d’Histoire de l’art du Moyen Age Occidental, sur la direction de Pascale Charron et Jean-marie Guillouët, Paris 2009;

The Dictionary of Art, Macmillan Publisher Limited 1996;

Students who will attend classes must study for the second part (II): one book from these titles:

Tobias Frese, Wilfried E. Keil, Kristina Krüger, Sacred scripture, Sacred Space: the Interlacing of Real Places and Conceptual Spaces in Medieval Art and Architecture, Heilderlberg University 2019;

Donal Cooper, The making of Assisi: The Pope, the Franciscan and the Painting of the Basilica, New Haven, Yale University 2013;

 

Louise Bourdua, The Franciscan patronage in late Medieval Italy, Cambridge University press, 2004;

Julian Gardner, Giotto and his Pubblic. Three Paradigms of Patronage, London 2011;

Image, Memory and Devotion. Liber amicorum Paul Crossley, edited by Zoe Opacic, Brepols 2011.

Students who will not attend classes: Donal Cooper, The making of Assisi: The Pope, the Franciscan and the Painting of the Basilica, New Haven, Yale University 2013;

Louise Bourdua, The Franciscan patronage in late Medieval Italy, Cambridge University press, 2004 or Julian Gardner, Giotto and his Pubblic. Three Paradigms of Patronage, London 2011.

In-depth readings but non mandatory for attending and not attending students:

Paul Binski, The Patronage and Date of the Legend of St Francis in the Upper Church of S. Francesco at Assisi, in The Burlington Magazine, Oct., 2009, Vol. 151, No. 1279, Art in Italy (Oct., 2009), pp. 663-665;

Joanna Cannon, Dating the Frescoes by the Maestro di S. Francesco at Assisi, in The Burlington Magazine, Feb., 1982, Vol. 124, No. 947 (Feb., 1982), pp. 65-69;

Joanna Cannon, Beyond the Limitations of Visual Typology: Reconsidering the Function and Audience of Three "Vita" Panels of Women Saints c. 1300, in Studies in the History of Art, 2002, Vol. 61, Symposium Papers XXXVIII: Italian Panel Painting of the Duecento and Trecento (2002), pp. 290-313;

Marco Ciatti, The Typology, Menanig and Use of Some Panel Paintings from the Duecento and Trecento, in Italian Panel of The Duecento and Trecento, edited by V. M. Schmidt, London 2002, pp. 15-29.

Donal Cooper, Janet Robson, A Great Sumptuousness of Paintings': Frescos and Franciscan Poverty at Assisi in 1288 and 1312, in The Burlington Magazine, Oct., 2009, Vol. 151, No. 1279, Art in Italy (Oct., 2009), pp. 656-662;

Julian Gardner, Giotto and his Pubblic. Three Paradigms of Patronage, London 2011.

Jacques Dalarun, Francis and Clare of Assisi: Differing Perspectives on Gender and Power, in Franciscan Studies, 2005, Vol. 63 (2005), pp. 11-25;

André Vauchez, Hagiography and Biography: The Case of St. Francis of Assisi, in Promoting the Saints. Cults and Their Contexts from late Antiquity until the Early Modern Period, edited by Ottó Gecser, József laszlovszky, Balázs Nagy, Marcell Sebók, Katalin Szende, Central European University Press. 2011.

Kee van der Ploeg, How Liturgical is a Medieval Altarpiece, in Italian Panel of The Duecento and Trecento, edited by V. M. Schmidt, London 2002, pp. 103- 121;

Klaus Krüger, Medium and imagination: Aesthetic Aspect of Trecento Panel Painting, in Italian Panel of The Duecento and Trecento, edited by V. M. Schmidt, London 2002, pp. 57-81.

Teaching methods

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

Traditional method: the teacher will always be present personally in the indicated classroom during this teaching activity. The students will alternate their presence, according to a schedule of shifts being defined (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 to follow live lessons via the online platform TEAMS.

Restricted places for incoming exchange students:

Places for incoming exchange students in this teaching activity are limited and are primarily reserved to students enrolled in art related programmes at their home university. To check availability, please write to amac@unibo.it

 

Assessment methods

It will be an oral exam. The first part (I) tending to verify students’ ability to recognise the peculiarities of different artistic styles, main iconographic symbols, and to describe, through appropriate vocabulary, the work of art. This is why the practical exercise, carried out with the teacher in the classroom, as described above, is particularly important.

Examination will start by verifying the knowledge of development of Italian Art in the defined chronological period (XIII-XV centuries), through identification and comment of 3 images. For attending students, the images may be selected from the ones projected by the teacher (ppt will be made available to students), for non-attending students, they will be selected from the above mentioned handbook.

Excellent marking will be assigned for identification of all three images, an organic understanding of the treated topics, a fluent exposition of topics with the appropriate vocabulary, originality of personal reflections and comparative analysis of the history of art in European countries, plus a clear exposition of the chosen essay (ability to explain in detail the author’s position).

Identification of two out of three of the images, a scholastic, mechanic and mnemonic knowledge of the subject, synthesis and analysis accompanied by a flat, correct but inappropriate vocabulary, with unclear and not sufficiently detailed exposition of the chosen topic, even if critically correct, may lead, at the most, to a decent evaluation.

No more than a pass mark may be assigned for identification of only one image, accompanied by lack of background knowledge, inappropriate vocabulary, a poor bibliography and a merely basic knowledge of history of art in European countries, with unclear and undetailed exposition of the chosen topic, and a limited understanding of the critical dimension.

The inability to identify any of the three images, together with lack of background knowledge, inappropriate vocabulary, a poor bibliography and the inability to analyse history of art in Italy, plus an unclear and totally superficial exposition of the chosen topic, accompanied by complete incomprehension of the critical dimension, will necessarily lead to a negative assessment and the impossibility to move to the second part (II).

The positive assessment of the first part (I) will allow to move on the discussion of the second part (II).

Teaching tools

Powerpoint, Omeka, Archiui

Office hours

See the website of Fabio Massaccesi