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


A.Y. Credits
2021/2022 12
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Giovanna Perini Folesani See the Italian version.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Art History (LM-89)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course is divided into two parts, whose attendance is compulsory, with the only exception of full time workers and people who are sick. The first part provides general background information, the second part is monographic. Their length is slightly different (no less than 40 hours for the first part, roughly 30 for the second one).   

The first part provides background information on the main issues tackled by European art literature  between the 11th and the 16th centuries, with a special focus on Italian late medieval and Renaissance art literature.This takes place through a selection of texts by prominent authors  which are read and commented upon, highlighting their historical and critical relevance. 

The second part will focus on Luigi Crespi (a painter, art historian and art dealer active in 18th century Bologna) in order to sketch out the Italian artistic debate and the European art market in the second half of the 18th century.


The first part ot the programme is carried out through commented readings in Italian of passages by authors such as, e.g., Raoul Glaber, Theophilus, Bernard of Clairvaux, Suger of St Denis, Villard de Honnecourt, Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio, Cennino Cennini for the Middle Ages; Bartolomeo Fazio, Leon Battista Alberti, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Antonio Manetti for the Quattrocento; Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari, Lomazzo, Zuccari and Agostino Carracci for the Cinquecento.

The second part will illustrate the intertwining of Italian and North European art literature and art markets in the second half of the 18th centuries, using Luigi Crespi (and his wide professional relations) as an interpretive tool.

Depending on the room afforded by the local academic calender and the general health situation, there might be some seminars held by specialists from other universities, in support of either (or both) the forst and the second part.

Bridging Courses

Given the general context, it does not matter.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

ANVUR obliges us to state what follows.

The student should be able to:

- show basic knowledge of the chronology of the various stages and forms of European criticism in the Middle Ages and in the Modern era, as well as the main features of the different schools of thought, anche in rapporto alle diverse influenze culturali, il tutto grazie ad una  lettura guidata (commentata) dei testi di riferimento

-essere in grado di applicare le conoscenze acquisite in modo tale da riuscire, attraverso opportune argomentazioni, a confrontare ed eventualmente correlare testi e manufatti di diversi ambiti geografici, cronologici o di committenza, ovviamente in ambito europeo e specialmente italiano;

-dimostrare la capacità di maturare giudizi autonomi rispetto a questioni controverse dal punto di vista interpretativo,  attributivo o di cronologia, attraverso la raccolta e l'esame critico dei dati ritenuti utili

-dimostrare autonomia e efficacia espositiva nel comunicare le nozioni e i concetti assimilati nel corso delle lezioni e nello studio

-affinare quelle capacità di apprendimento necessarie per intraprendere in modo autonomo studi successivi

Nello specifico, alla fine del corso gli studenti dovrebbero:

- aver imparato a riconoscere i testi dei principali autori del periodo medievale e moderno

- aver imparato a porsi le domande fondamentali di fronte a un testo

- aver migliorato la loro capacità di pensare criticamente, sostenere ragionamenti complessi e articolato ed esprimere le loro idee in forma adeguata, sia a livello scritto, che orale

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

Depending on the room left by scheduled activities, general circumstances and the availability of colleagues, seminars held by specialists from other Universities in support of either or both parts of the course is feasible..

Contrary to what is stated in the previous field which is filled in by the system automatically and is not modifiable, 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 will be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it only if the emergency situation goes on and most or large part of the teaching will be done on line. Active objection to the use of such platforms for distributing powerpoints and texts is widespread amidst professors in the humanities from various universities, although it is rarely uttered publicly to avoid problems and in the fear of retaliation, thus agreeing to the mandatory conformism imposed.  Reasons for objecting are both numerous and varied, including didactcal issues and problems of copyright, which is to be upheld legally (no platform can guarantee this, thus opening up avenues for legal actions, where the individual teacher becomes responsible). More detailed explanations can be offered during lectures.


Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


In presence or on line, depending on the general situation. If in presence, it should include seminars by others and slide projections.


Only people on sick leave (mandatory if they have infectious diseases including flu and covid) and full time workers who can prove their status are free from attending. This is done in the best interest of students, who are not "customers" (like in the jargon of a technocratic bureaucracy at the level of Orwell's premonitions), but citizen's whose BA education is increasingly inadequate and insufficient. A degree should never be a mere scrap of paper, nor a bureaucratc duty, instead of an essential step in education, which has got nothing to do with ruling technocracy.

Course books

In support of the general, introductory part:

J.von Schlosser, La letteratura artistica, La Nuova Italia 1977 (free download from the website of Heidelberg University Library)..

 F.Bologna, La coscienza storica dell'arte d'Italia, Torino UTET 1982 (ristampa Garzanti).

Xeroxes (or pdfs) of the texts read and commented during the lectures will be supplied on such occasions. Further readings may be suggested  during the lectures.

For the second part :

G. Perini Folesani, Luigi Crespi storiografo, mercante e artista attraverso l'epistolario, Firenze, Olschki, 2020.

Further essays and texts (including free downloads) will be suggested or supplied during the lectures.


Oral exam.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Non attending students are advised to contact their lecturer to decide what to read for the monographic part. The materials for the general, introductory part are listed at the entry on course-books below.


It is pretty obvious that the word "attendance" here is an essential mistake exposing the absurdity of this form. No attendance is expected from non-attending students! Instead there is one basic requirement to be spelled out, i.e. to contact the lecturer  for the readings concerning the monographic section at least three to four months before the exam, by email, or by telephone (in the office hours indicated, if presence is reinstated), or asking for an appointment in presence, if this is not a health hazard, i.e. if the pandemic is over.

Course books

For the first, general part:

J.von Schlosser, La letteratura artistica, Firenze, La Nuova Italia 1972 (free download from the website of the University of Heidelberg Library)..

 F.Bologna, La coscienza storica dell'arte d'Italia, Torino UTET 1982 (ristampa Garzanti) 

 D. Levi, Il discorso sull'arte dalla tarda antichità a Ghiberti, Milano, Bruno Mondadori 2010

For the second part an alternative programme is possible, broadly targeted to the individual interests of the student.  See endnotes here.


Oral exams.


People on mandatory sick leave and full time workers who can prove their status must not attend classes, but should contact the lecturer at least three to four  months before their exam to discuss individual readings with the lecturer as indicated above, in the relevant section.

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