Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Introduction to Medieval Art
Lineamenti di Storia dell'Arte Medievale

A.Y. Credits
2015/2016 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Andrea Paribeni Monday 18.00-19.00 during the lesson period; otherwise to be agreed by emil

Assigned to the Degree Course

Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide a basic knowledge of the history of art in Italy, in Europe and in the Mediterranean between the fourth and fourteenth centuries, i.e. from the paleochristian period until the early modern era, through the analysis of some exemplary cases with regard to the Western and Byzantine cultural spheres. The most peculiar  problems relating to periodization, historiography and methodology will be addressed, as well artistic trends, artists, monuments and artifacts willl be examined and contextualised.


The course has a fundamentally historical structure and provides a discussion of the items along a path that follows and clarifies the chronology of the different expressions of the medieval age artistic culture. Some secific methodological aspects will deserve a more detailed discussion, starting from the very definition of medieval art, the determination of its chronological limits and its internal connections, compared with the traditional Italian and European historiography. In detail the topics discussed will be the following:

- The late antique and early Christian era; imperial patronage in religious and profane milieu;the first papal commissions (IV-VI century)

- The disintegration of the imperial structure and the introduction of barbarians populations: echos in the artistic production in Italy between Byzantine persistence and new Lombard presences (VI-VIII century)

- The formation of new centers of power in central Europe: the Carolingian and Ottonian Empires and their artistic production (VIII-X century)

. - The Europe of 1000 and the birth of Romanesque: historiographical debate; architecture and art development between the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Italy and Europe; declinations of the Romanesque style in northern, central and southern Italy

- The transition between Romanesque and Gothic of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; the Crusades as an artistic phenomenon of contamination and new influences of Byzantine art in Italy

- Gothic art and architecture in the second half of the thirteenth century: its birth and blossoming in France and spread in the Italian regions. The great innovations in monumental painting (Giotto, Cavallini, Duccio) and sculpture (Nicola Pisano and Arnolfo).

- The art of Gothic period (fourteenth century): the evolution of painting (Giotto and his school; the great Sienese masters) and the urban and architectural development of the city as the foundation of the artistic culture of the fifteenth century.

 A short seminar on the role played in the Middle Ages by the wall mosaics will also be offered; students will be led to consider  the crucial importance of mosaic in the context of critical reflection matured since the eighteenth century and of the material recovery of the medieval artistic works through the progressive refinement of restoration methods which occurred between 19th  and 20th century. Through the analysis of some essays - which will be made available by the teacher - dedicated to the history of the restoration and to the critical success of the medieval mosaic, the student will be able to examine from a particuloar point of view the most important mosaic cycles kept in Italy and also in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Lessons will be held according to the following schedule from Monday, October 12, 2015:
Monday 16:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 09:00 to 11:00
Wednesday 14:00 to 16:00

MPORTANT: The lessons on the art of the late-medieval period will be given by Professor Maria Grazia Fachechi in the days and times indicated above

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

The students:

will demonstrate basic knowledge of the chronological articulation of the different phases of artistic production in the Middle Ages and the specific characteristics of the various stylistic currents, also in relation to different cultural influences, through  a correct and careful reading and understanding of the books of text;

will be able to apply their knowledge in order to succeed, through appropriate arguments, to compare and possibly correlate monuments and artifacts from different geographical and chronological areas;

will demonstrate to be able to mature independent judgments with respect to controversial chronological and attributive issues, through the collection and the critical examination of useful data

will show autonomy and effectiveness in exposing data and ideas assimilated during the lessons and study;

will improve the learning skills necessary to undertake independently the study of artistic production of the period after the Middle Ages.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Seminars, conferences, site visits will be organized during the course

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


The course consists of lectures and a seminar-type activities


Though obviously well recommended, attendance is not mandatory. The attendance of at least two-thirds of the lessons is demanded in order to be considered as attending students

Course books

A. Pinelli, Le ragioni della bellezza. 2. Dalla tarda Antichità a Giotto, Torino, Loescher, 2012 (Red Edition).  It is unfortunately difficult to find this text;anyway  it is guaranteesd the sale in Urbino libraries


The exam will consist of an oral exam based on the Assessment of the study text; during the test the images in the textbook and the power point presentation shown during the lessons will be used. These power point will be made available by the teacher by loading on the moodle platform where students can freely consult

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Individual study

Course books

A. Pinelli, Le ragioni della bellezza. 2. Dalla tarda Antichità a Giotto, Torino, Loescher, 2012 (Red Edition).  It is unfortunately difficult to find this text;anyway  it is guaranteesd the sale in Urbino libraries

Giotto, l'Italia, catalogo della mostra, a cura di S. Romano e P. Petraroia, Milano, Mondadori Electa, 2015


The exam consists of an oral exam based on the Assessment of the study texts; during the test the images in textbooks will be used

« back Last update: 14/07/2016


Questo contenuto ha risposto alla tua domanda?

Il tuo feedback è importante

Raccontaci la tua esperienza e aiutaci a migliorare questa pagina.

Se sei vittima di violenza o stalking chiama il 1522

Il 1522 è un servizio pubblico promosso dalla Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri – Dipartimento per le Pari Opportunità. Il numero, gratuito è attivo 24 h su 24, accoglie con operatrici specializzate le richieste di aiuto e sostegno delle vittime di violenza e stalking.

Posta elettronica certificata



Performance della pagina

Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
Via Aurelio Saffi, 2 – 61029 Urbino PU – IT
Partita IVA 00448830414 – Codice Fiscale 82002850418
2021 © Tutti i diritti sono riservati