cod. 1008546

Academic year 2023/24
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 in Early Modern 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 textual sources produced around the artistic activity, the course aims to provide the basis for their proper understanding, analysis, and contextualization in historical and cultural terms. A preparatory part will introduce the study of European art-historical sources from the early modern period, from the 15th to the 19th century divided into four macro-areas: economic, judicial, diplomatic, and military, and private sources. After an introduction on their specificities and their importance for the artistic sphere, the various types of sources will be examined and a series of readings will be given to explore some key issues of artistic creation in the modern period, including the artist and his relationship with patronage, collecting, and the market. The monographic part will explore the complexity and various critical perspectives provided by the study of the correspondence through the presentation of several case studies.

Full programme

Preparatory Part
Introduction to sources for art history in Early Modern age: a historical approach

• The economic sources;
• The judicial sources;
• The diplomatic and military sources;
• The private sources.

Monographic Part


Attending Students
Subject matter:

• A DIGITAL DOSSIER (available at the end of the lectures, on ELLY platform) with PowerPoint projections (sources and works of art);
• THE HANDBOOK: Matteo Provasi, Federica Veratelli, Fonti per la storia dell’arte moderna. Metodi e strumenti per un approccio storico, Milano, Mondadori Università, 2023 (in corso di stampa).
• ONE BOOK: necessary for in-depth study of the case study on which the monograph part will focus, which will be chosen by the student during the course.

Non-attending students
Non-attending students should add to the bibliography for attending students the reading of ONE CHOICE BOOK to be agreed with the lecturer, possibly from one of those mentioned in the handbook.

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 interview (about 20 min.) focuses on the entire examination program. For the preparatory part, in addition to the content of the PowerPoint presented in class, the student will stick to the sources presented and discussed in the handbook. For the monograph part, the student will delve into the volume chosen during the lectures. For this purpose, the attending student is asked to identify a group of sources and construct an independent path of exegesis and commentary of chosen sources and present it through a PowerPoint during the last week of class, or during the oral examination.
Students who do not attend regularly will refer to what is indicated in the examination bibliography for nonattending students.

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 (