cod. 1008546

Academic year 2022/23
1° year of course - Second semester
- Federica VERATELLI
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
hub: PARMA
course unit

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 - 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 contextualize 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 Medieval 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 unit content

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 Images, methods, and words. The notebook as a source for art history will investigate, through a critical perspective, the notebook as a source for art history. Nowadays still used as a unique and popular instrument, even in a digital way, the notebook has always over the centuries followed artists, scientists, humanists, technicians, even enlightened patrons, and merchants, revealing sometimes methods and practices that would today otherwise be difficult to interpret. Most of the time of various format, like a diary, full of drawings, diagrams, numbers, sketches, images and words, its nature makes it an elusive object but a multifaceted and rich source for the history of art from the Middle Ages to Contemporary Period.

Full programme

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

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

Single Subject course - Part Two
Images, methods, and words. The notebook as a source for art history.


Attending Students
Subject matter:

• [Part One and Part Two] - A DIGITAL DOSSIER (available at the end of the lectures, on ELLY platform) with PowerPoint projections (sources and works of art);
• [Part One] – SOME PARTS FROM ONE SOURCE’S COLLECTION: T. Montanari, L’età barocca. Le fonti per la storia dell’arte (1600-1750), Roma, Carocci, 2013.
• [Part Two] - ONE BOOK (Single Subject course): E. Pellegrini, La memoria in tasca. Taccuini, immagini, parole, Roma, De Luca Editori d’Arte, 2021.

Non-attending students
The list of recommended readings above, plus a chosen book (discussed in Introduction-Part One) among:

• 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.
• P. Cavazzini, Porta Virtutis. Il Processo a Federico Zuccari, collana “Artisti in Tribunale”, vol. 1, Roma, De Luca Editori d'Arte, 2020.
• 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.
• M. Montias, Vermeer and his milieu. A web of social history, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1989.
• R. Morselli, Tra Fiandre e Italia: Rubens (1600-1608). Regesto bibliografico-critico, Roma, Viella, 2018.
• F. Solinas (a cura di), Lettere di Artemisia, Roma, De Luca Editori d’Arte, 2011.
• 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.

Teaching methods

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

Oral exam.
The exam (20 minutes max) concerns the entire course, with at least one test of written source analysis. For the Single Subject course - Part Two, students are invited to prepare the volume indicated in “Recommended Readings”. For this purpose, the students, starting from chosen collection of documents, are invited to to present an autonomous itinerary, through a PowerPoint: 1. attending students are invited to present the power point during classroom; not-attending students are requested to present the power point during 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, laude can be added. The minimum passing grade is 18/30. Grades below 18 are a failure and are not registered.
A failure 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.

Other information

For any further information please contact the teacher during the Office hour (