HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL ART (UNIT A)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The goal of the course is to provide a general overview of the major themes in medieval civilisation, starting from urban studies and including analysis of individual buildings and their interior pictorial decorations, furnishings, etc. An evolutional approach tends to be avoided, and with it that model inherited by students from secondary school teaching, replacing it with new research methods to be used for medieval culture. Within this context, the lessons on technique, functioning of the medieval workshop, the function of the scriptorium, monastic schools and cathedrals, and the relationship between religious power and civil power, given the role of patron of both during the Middle Ages.
Course contents summary
Introduction to the problems of medieval civilisation with special emphasis on the relationships between the historical context, patronage and artistic production; study will focus on a number of key topics chosen on a year-by-year basis and, except in rare instances, different from those of previous years. Bibliographical references for those who wish to examine in depth the critical debate. Field study for those who wish to aasess the nature of the architecture, sculpture, painting and urban system examined.
A general recommended reading list is provided at the start of the course; as the various topics are discussed, the critical debate is referred to by presenting the various positions and a specific reading list is provided.
In preparation for the exam, non-attending students are given a reading list as a substitute for class attendance.
Assessment of the preparation of students in an art history course cannot be based solely on a list of facts, but must also include interpretation of the works of art themselves and, therefore, reflection on the images shown during the lectures; in some cases, students will prepare brief papers on topics of their choice or on the basis of field research performed with the professor of monuments, sculpted or painted cycles and analysed during class.