cod. 1001909

Academic year 2016/17
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Museologia e critica artistica e del restauro (L-ART/04)
Discipline storico-artistiche
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit
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Learning objectives

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 should be able to:

- apply knowledge and understanding in solving independently the interpretation of different kinds of written sources coming from different linguistic and cultural areas, and to contextualize them in their historical milieu (2° Descriptor);
- handle complexity of judgements and information on the artistic activity and on its differents actors (3° Descriptor);
- communicate clearly and unambiguously through the specialized terminology (4° Descriptor);
- develop additional skills allowing to study independently and to analyze critically the sources, through the methodology research in art history (5° Descriptor).

The minimum learning threshold is 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.


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Course unit content

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, correspondances, processes, libri dei ricordi, diaries, guides, contracts, inventories, account books, etc. The analysis of sources will enlighten some key subjects of the artistic creation: artist, patronage, collecting and market.
The Single Subject course - Part Two (Between profit and anecdote) will investigate the fascinating and ancient relation between art and money, through the study of a 'hybrid' source: the account book. The course will focus on the artistic, social and cultural aspects of this precious source for the economic history, through the analysis of some case studies (artists and merchants) in their historical contexts.

Full programme

Introduction - Part One
The sources for art history: an introduction

- approaches and methodologies;
- artists;
- patrons;
- collecting;
- market.

Single Subject course - Part Two
Between profit and anecdote: the book account

- art and accounting: economic sources for art history
- a 'hybrid' source: the libro dei conti
- 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, 2002.
- C. De Benedictis, Per la storia del collezionismo italiano. Fonti e documenti, Firenze, 1991.
- C. E. Gilbert, Italian Art 1400-1500. Sources and Documents, New York, 1980.
- E. Gilmore Holt, A documentary history of art, Garden City, N.Y., 1957-1966.
- T. Montanari, L’età barocca. Le fonti per la storia dell’arte (1600-1750), Roma, 2013.
- C. Savettieri, Dal neoclassicismo al romanticismo, Roma, 2006.

- one chosen book among:

- S. Dalla Rosa, Esatta nota distinta di tutti li quadri da me Saverio Dalla Rosa dipinti, col preciso prezzo che ne ho fatto, e memoria delle persone, o luoghi, per dove li ho eseguiti, a cura di B. Chiappa, Verona, 2011.
- G.F. Barbieri, Il libro dei conti del Guercino, 1629-1666, a cura di B. Ghelfi, Bologna, 1997.
- L. Lorizzo, Pellegrino Peri. Il mercato dell’arte nella Roma barocca, Roma, 2010.
- L. Lotto, Il libro di spese diverse (1538-1556). Con aggiunta di lettere e d'altri documenti, a cura di P. Zampetti, Venezia-Roma, 1969 [o ed. a cura di F. Grimaldi, K. Sordi, Loreto, 2003].
- S.S. Nigro, L'orologio di Pontormo. Invenzione di un pittore manierista [1998], Milano, 2013.
- C. Stolwijk, H. Veenenbos, The account book of Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger, Amsterdam, 2002.

Non-attending students
The list of recommended readings above, plus a chosen book among:

- S. Alpers, Rembrandt's Enterprise. The studio and the Market, Chicago, 1988.
- C.M. Anderson, The Flemish merchant of Venice. Daniel Nijs and the sale of the Gonzaga art collection, New Haven, 2015.
- M. Baxandall, Painting and Experience in 15th Century Italy. A Primer in the Social History of the Pictorial Style, Oxford, 1972.
- R.A. Goldthwaite, The economy of Renaissance Florence, Baltimore, 2009.
- G. Guerzoni, Apollo and Vulcan. The Art Markets in Italy, 1400-1700, East Lansing, 2011.
- F. Haskell, Patrons and Painters. A Study in the Relations between Italian art and society in the age of Baroque, New Haven, 1963.
- L. Jardine, Worldly Goods. A New History of the Renaissance, New York, 1996.
- R. Morselli (a cura di), Vivere d'arte. Carriere e finanze nell'Italia moderna, Roma, 2007.
- R. Spear, Painting for profit. The Economic Lives of the Seventeenth-Century Italian Painters, New Haven, 2010.
- M.C. Terzaghi, Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni tra le ricevute del Banco Herrera & Costa, Roma, 2007.
- B. S. Yamey, Art and accounting, New Haven 1989.
- R. Wittkower, M. Wittkover, Born under Saturn. The Character and Conduct of Artists. A Documented History from Antiquity to the French Revolution, London, 1963.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures, with power point projections (sources and works of art), and analysis of written sources.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam.
The exam focuses on the entire course, with at least one test on 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, where the students are invited to present an autonomous itinerary, starting from the chosen book.

Other information

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