95814 - History and Theory of Restoration (Lm) (1)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Donatella Biagi

  • 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.

Quality education Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student acquires the knowledge of the conservative procedures and restoration practices carried out from the 16th century to the present, of the protagonists of these events, of the relevant results and of the consequent achievement of the modern theory of restoration. Through the investigation of exemplary cases, he/she knows how to recognize restoration operations carried out in the past and evaluate their consequences, according to the critical approach to conservation science. The course aims to lead to the adoption of a method of reading the work of art also in its materiality, fundamental for the understanding of the image; the student is led to dialogue with other professionals involved in conservative interventions both in cutting-edge and routine themes.

Course contents

The course will be divided into two parts:

A - Restorations in the Vatican
Some capital interventions carried out on ancient sculptures such as the Laocoon and the Belvedere Torso will be considered as fundamental texts to learn about the history of restoration and understand the evolution of the concept and practices over the centuries; on fifteenth-century wall paintings (Perugino, Botticelli, Pituricchio); on frescoes by Raphael and Michelangelo.

B - Models and methods for the planned conservation and safeguarding of sculptural assets


1. For the attending students:

A. CONTI, Storia del restauro e della conservazione delle opere d’arte, Electa, Milano 2010 (and previous editions)

M. DE LUCA, Verità nascoste sui muri dei Maestri. Michelangelo, Raffaello, Perugino Pintoricchio e gli altri in Vaticano, Artemide, Roma 2016

B. TOSCANO, Tutela e restauro, progetto e formazione, in Scritti brevi sulla storia dell’arte e sulla conservazione, Libro Co. Italia, Città di Castello, 2006, pp. 243-293

D. BIAGI MAINO, Un protocollo innovativo per la messa in sicurezza del patrimonio culturale, in Scienza per la conservazione del patrimonio culturale a rischio, edited by D. Biagi Maino and G. Maino, Edifir edizioni, Firenze 2021, pp. 103-115

2. For non-attending students:

In addition to what is indicated in point 1, students are required to prepare:

S. RINALDI, Storia tecnica dell’arte. Materiali e metodi della pittura e della scultura (secc.. V-XIX), Carocci editore, Roma 2014, pp. 13-51, 169-238.

Teaching methods

Compatibly with the progress of the pandemic, the course will be held in attendance.

Visits to restoration laboratories and / or museums are planned.

The lectures of the teacher of the course will be accompanied, for the second part, by meetings and seminars with specialists in the sector of restoration belonging to various international institutions (New York Academy of Sciences, UNESCO, Watch, Piedmont Region).

Assessment methods

Verification of learning takes place only through the oral exam, aimed at ascertaining the knowledge and critical skills acquired by the student in the training course.
The interview will focus on what was discussed in class (for those attending) and on learning and understanding the texts indicated in the bibliography.
The candidate will be led to demonstrate the acquired awareness of the problem of the theory of restoration through the examination of the texts and images addressed and discussed during the course and indicated in the bibliography, as well as the different outcomes of the conservative interventions implemented in the centuries since the fifteenth. to ours, so as to certify the understanding of the fluidity of the concept of restoration and of the restorative practice and of the need for a firm critical awareness for each intervention to be prepared.
The mastery of the contents, the adequate expression and the appropriate language for the subject will be evaluated as well as the ability to synthesize and analyze the concepts discussed in class.
The understanding of the problems related to the planning of a restoration, the knowledge of the paths over time that took to the definition of the modern concept of restoration, the mastery of the specific language of the discipline and, obviously, the in-depth knowledge of the texts of the program will be evaluated with marks of excellence.
The only mnemonic knowledge of the subject, the capacity for synthesis and analysis not correctly developed in an adequate language will lead to discrete evaluations.
Training gaps or the lack of the appropriate vocabulary, poor knowledge of the analysis tools and of the problems related to the restoration interventions will lead to only sufficiency.
Poor knowledge of the texts in the program, inadequate vocabulary, lack of understanding of the criticality of the topic and of the conservation problem will be evaluated negatively.

Teaching tools

Power point image projections during the lessons that will be made available to students at the end of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Donatella Biagi