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 - Knowledge and understanding).
As the end of the course, the student must be able to:
- apply knowledge and understanding in solving independently the interpretation of differents kinds of written sources coming from differents linguistic and cultural areas, and be able to contextualized them in their historical milieu (2° Descriptor - Applying knowledge and understanding);
- handle complexity of judgements and information on the artistic activity and on its differents actors (3° Descriptor - Makink judgements);
- communicate clearly and unambiguously knowledge through the specialized terminology (4° Descriptor - Communication skills);
- develop additional skills in being able to study independently and to analyze critically the sources, through the methodology research in art history (5° Descriptor - Learning skills).
The threshold learning minimum outcomes are the student's ability to recognize different kind of sources through the analysis of their special characters and instructive potential, by applying critical interpretation and a proper research methodology.
Basic knowledge of art history (from Early modern to Contemporary period), artists and works of art, the social and cultural contexts that enable artistic production and reception, as well as the artistic terminology.
Course contents summary
Through the presentation and the analysis of written sources on the artistic process, the course aims to provide students of the basic knowledge for their proper understanding and contextualizing. The Introduction - Part One will introduct to the study of the sources for art history in Europe, from 15th to 19th century: treatises, biographies, correspondances, process, 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 Word of Artist. Epistolary sources for art history will investigate a particular source: the epistolary. Famous or not, letters of artists to their correspondents (relatives, patrons, merchants, collectors, art historians, critics and scholars, etc.) and vice versa, may reveals intimates details, communicate feelings, inform us on the materiality of everyday life, illustrate creative processes as the origin and the life of works of art. Precious historical sources, preserved in public and private archives, museums and libraries, the course will focus on their informative potentials, through the analysis of some case studies in their cultural contexts.
Introduction - Part One
The sources for art history: an introduction
- approaches and methodologies;
Single Subject course - Part Two
Word of Artist. Epistolary sources for art history
- Art and correspondence. An outline through the sources
- Case Studies.
- A DIGITAL DOSSIER (available at the end of the lectures) with power point projections (sources and works of art);
- 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:
- B. Berenson, R. Longhi, Lettere e scartafacci (1912-1957), a cura di C. Garboli, Milano, Adelphi, 1993.
- A. Gentileschi, Lettere di Artemisia, a cura di F. Solinas, Roma de Luca, 2011.
- F. Kahlo, Lettere appassionate, a cura di M. Zamora, Abscondita, Milano, 2002.
- Lettere dei Macchiaioli, a cura di L. Giudici, Abscondita, Milano, 2008.
- P.P. Rubens, Lettere italiane, a cura di I. Cotta, Roma, Ist. della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1987.
- V. van Gogh, Lettere a Theo, Milano, Guanda 2016 (o altre ed.).
- T. Vecellio, Le lettere (dalla silloge di documenti tizianeschi di Celso Fabbro), a c. di C. Gandini, Pieve di Cadore, Magnifica Comunità di Cadore Ed., 1977.
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, works of art, video, documentaries) , and analysis of written sources. Powerpoint slideshows containing images and sources shown during frontal lessons are available at the end of the course on the platform for blended learning Elly DUSIC).
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam (20/30 minutes max) concern 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 power point, starting from the chosen book. Attending students are invited to present the power point during classroom; not-attending students are requested to send the power point at least TWO weeks before the oral exam.
Students who don't attend the classes on regular basis must refer to the list of recommended reading.
In Italian Universities grades are given on the basis of 30 points (30/30). When the student's performance is considered outstanding, a laude can be added. The minimum passing grade is 18/30. Grades below 18 are a fail and are not registered.
A fail is determined by: 1. a lack of understanding of the basic content of the course; 2. the inability to express oneself adequately; 3. by a lack of autonomous preparation; 4. the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and its decoding; 5. the inability in making judgements independently.
The minimum passing grade (18-23/30) is ascribed when the student's performance is acceptable, according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above. Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to students who show more than a sufficient level (24-25/30) or a good level (26-27/30) according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above. High scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are assigned to students who show a very good or an excellent level according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above.