SOURCES FOR HISTORY OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students, according to the Dublin Descriptors for the Master's degree (Second cycle - European Qualification Framework Level 7), with adequate knowledge and understanding of works of art, through exegesis and critical interpretation of their sources (1° Descriptor).
At the end of the course, the student must be able to:
- demonstrate, by applying knowledge and understanding, to be able to independently solve the interpretation of different kinds of written sources coming from various linguistic and cultural areas, and be able to contextualize them in their historical milieu (2° Descriptor)
- handle complexity of judgements and information on the artistic activity and on its different actors (3° Descriptor);
- communicate clearly and unambiguously by using the specialized terminology (4° Descriptor);
- improve the ability to study independently and to analyze critically the sources, through the methodology research in art history (5° Descriptor).
The threshold learning minimum outcomes are the student's ability to recognize different kinds of sources through the analysis of their special characters and instructive potential, by applying critical interpretation and a proper research methodology.
Course contents summary
Through the presentation and the analysis of written sources on the artistic process, the course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge for their proper understanding and contextualizing. The Introduction - Part One will introduce to the study of the sources for art history in Europe, from 15th to 19th century: treatises, biographies, letters, account books, libri dei ricordi, diaries, guides, contracts, inventories, account books, etc. The sources analysis will enlight some key subjects of the artistic creation: artist, patronage, collecting and market.
The Single Subject course - Part Two (Artists at the bar. Judicial sources for art history) will investigate the relation between artists and law, with special attention to the judicial sources, as trials. The course will focus on the artistic, social and cultural aspects of this precious historical source, through the analysis of some case studies in their historical contexts.
Introduction - Part One
The sources for art history: an introduction
- approaches and methodologies;
Single Subject course - Part Two
Artists at the bar. Judicial sources for art history
- Artists and the Law. An outline through the sources
- Case Studies
- The following textbooks and collections of documents (the pages will be indicated by the teacher during the lectures):
- S. Bordini, L'Ottocento.1815-1880, Roma, Carocci, 2002.
- C. De Benedictis, Per la storia del collezionismo italiano. Fonti e documenti, Firenze, Ponte alle Grazie, 1991 [o 1998].
- C. E. Gilbert, L’arte del Quattrocento nelle testimonianze coeve, Firenze, IRSA, 1988.
- E. Gilmore Holt, Storia documentaria dell’arte. Dal Medioevo al xviii secolo [1957-1966, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1972.
- T. Montanari, L’età barocca. Le fonti per la storia dell’arte (1600-1750), Roma, Carocci, 2013.
- C. Savettieri, Dal neoclassicismo al romanticismo, Roma, Carocci, 2006.
- one chosen book among:
- A. Gentileschi, Lettere. Precedute da 'Atti di un processo per stupro', a cura di E. Menzio, Milano, Abscondita, 2004 [o edizione del 1981].
- M. Di Sivo, O. Verdi, E. Lo Sardo (a cura di), Caravaggio a Roma. Una vita dal vero, cat. della mostra (Roma, Archivio di Stato, 2011), Roma, De Luca, 2011.
- M.E. Massimi, La Cena in casa di Levi di Paolo Veronese: il processo riaperto, Venezia, Marsilio, 2011.
- M. Petronio, Il caso Winckelmann: uno dei più famosi casi giudiziari d'Europa nella Trieste del Settecento, Roma, Palombi, 2014.
- L. Puppi, Un trono di fuoco. Arte e martirio di un pittore eretico del Cinquecento [Riccardo Perucolo], Roma, Donzelli, 1995 [o la ristampa del 2015].
- K. van der Stighelen, J. Roelens, Made in heaven, burned in hell. The trial of the sodomite sculptor Hiëronymus Dusquesnoy (1602-1654), in M. Hannelore, K. van der Stighelen (eds), Facts and Feelings. Retracing emotions of artists, 1600-1800, Turnhout, Brepols, 2015, pp. 101-138.
The list of recommended readings above, plus a chosen book (discussed in Introduction-Part One) among:
- S. Alpers, Rembrandt's Enterprise. The studio and the Market, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1988.
- C.M. Anderson, The Flemish merchant of Venice. Daniel Nijs and the sale of the Gonzaga art collection, New Haven-London, Yale University Press, 2015.
- M. Baxandall, Painting and Experience in 15th Century Italy. A Primer in the Social History of the Pictorial Style, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1972.
- G. Guerzoni, Apollo and Vulcan. The Art Markets in Italy, 1400-1700, East Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 2011.
- F. Haskell, Patrons and Painters. A Study in the Relations between Italian art and society in the age of Baroque, New Haven-London, Yale University Press, 1963.
- Memling. Rinascimento fiammingo, cat. della mostra (Roma, Scuderie del Quirinale, 2014) a cura di T.H. Borchert, Milano, Skira, 2014.
- M. Montias, Vermeer and his milieu. A web of social history, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1989.
- P. Nuttall, From Flanders to Florence. The Impact of Netherlandish painting, 1400-1500, New Haven-London, Yale University Press, 2004.
- M.C. Terzaghi, Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni tra le ricevute del Banco Herrera & Costa, Roma, L'«Erma» di Bretschneider, 2007.
R. Wittkower, M. Wittkover, Born under Saturn. The Character and Conduct of Artists. A Documented History from Antiquity to the French Revolution, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1963.
Classroom lectures, with powerpoint projections (sources and works of art), and analysis of written sources.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam concerns the entire course, with at least one test of written source analysis, among the sources presented during the lectures. The rest of the exam aims to test the student knowledge on the first part of the course, and above all, on the second part, for which the students are invited to present an autonomous itinerary, through a powerpoint or a written dissertation, starting from the chosen book.