10439 - Methodology of Art History

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Lucia Corrain

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-ART/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Cultural Heritage (cod. 9076)

  • Course Timetable from Nov 08, 2022 to Dec 13, 2022


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

No poverty Zero hunger Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course provides a comparative approach to different methodologies of art criticism, through thematic paths that privilege the relationship between knowledge and protection, between art history, collecting and cultural history. By the end of the course the students will be in possession of the tools to orient themselves in the field of art history, also from the standpoint of the critical debate.

Course contents

In the first part of the course, the main critical methods of art history will be addressed to then focus on the methodology of art semiotics and visual culture.

One of the current approaches of the human sciences that tends to demonstrate how many of the problems that concern contemporaneity have ancient roots, having already made their appearance on the historical stage. In this perspective, artistic representation constitutes a real benchmark: it is the “memory” of a given phenomenon and it is down to the analyst to re-actualize its contents accurately, conferring specific importance to the same visual representation. The life and effectiveness of the image will be the focus of attention in the context of the relationship between past and present.


Calabrese, O., Il linguaggio dell’arte, Bompiani, Milano 1985 (pp. 5-53; pp. 111-214).

Corrain, L., La pittura di mercato. Il «parlar coperto» nel ciclo Fugger di Vincenzo Campi, Mimesis, Milano 2018.

Corrain, L., Il velo dell’arte. Una rete di immagini tra passato e contemporaneità, La casa Usher, Firenze 2022 (seconda edizione).

Teaching methods

The professor's lectures will be supplemented by seminars in which the students will participate actively by presenting a case study in the classroom according to the method studied.

Assessment methods

Oral examination aimed to assess the critical skills acquired during the course. The students will be expected to deal with the texts in the syllabus according to the teacher’s analysis methods during the lectures. The students will demonstrate an adequate knowledge of the recommended readings.

1. The performance of those students who are capable of analysing the texts thoroughly and knowing how to organise them in an organic view of the course topics will be graded as excellent. Proper use of the specific language during the oral exam will be also essential.

2. The performance of those students with a mostly mnemonic knowledge, no in-depth analytical skills, and a correct, but not always appropriate, language of the recommended texts will be graded as satisfactory.

3. The performance of those students with an approximate knowledge, a superficial understanding, poor analytical skills and inappropriate language will be graded as barely satisfactory.

4. The performance of those students with learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography will be deemed unsatisfactory.

Teaching tools

In addition to lectures, PowerOoint presentations, films and documentaries will be used as teaching aims.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Corrain