Scheda programma d'esame
Anno accademico2022/23
PeriodoSecondo semestre

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with a basic knowledge of the historical evolution of art in Tuscany and Rome during the early modern period. In particular it focuses on the rebirth of the arts of painting and sculpture in central Italy from the fifteenth century to ca. 1569, the year when Cosimo I de' Medici was granted the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany. It will start with the competition for the second set of bronze doors for the Baptistry in Florence (1401), and will end roughly with the reactions against mannerist art codified by the Council of Trent. Thus, it will take the student through various phases in Italian art, from the flourishing of the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture in the city state of Florence, where the guilds played a major role as patrons, to the rule of an oligarchy of magnates headed by the Medici, to their downfall and eventual reinstatement leading to their final consecration as Dukes of Florence. Meanwhile, the popes returned to Rome from Avignon and transformed the city according to the vision of the leading central-Italian artists, namely Michelangelo and Raphael. To all these political phases corresponded an extraordinary flourishing of the arts that embodied in different ways these two cities' pride and managed to express visually the emergence of Florence and Rome as leading world centres. Florentine artists responded to the aspirations of their patrons—be they groups or individuals—inventing a new visual language deeply rooted in the classical past but at the same time dramatically modern in its capacity to elaborate models and observe nature.  The course will aim to introduce students to the leading artistic personalities of the period (Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, Della Robbia, Masaccio, Lippi, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Verrocchio, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Giuliano da Sangallo, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, to name but a few), as well as to the genres and types of artefacts produced. Lectures will be online but if conditions will allow it is hoped we might visit some museums and monuments.

Assessment criteria of knowledge

Academic progress will be monitored and verified in class.


Students will be able to understand the context and production of works of art in a varety of media, and talk about them using the language of art criticism.

Assessment criteria of skills

The course will be assessed by means of a final written exam.


Students will acquire and/or develop an awareness of complex art and art historical issues.

Assessment criteria of behaviors

Students will be requested to read chapters from books or articles before each lecture, and time will be devoted to their discussion in class. 


Students should have some knowledge of Italian and European history of the early modern period. Students should be fluent in spoken and written English.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures with powerpoints. These will be uploaded on Moodle, the University e-learning platform, together with further reading material, links to relevant museum websites and additional learning aids.

Moodle will be used to inform students of any change in the schedule.




Lecture 1. Political geography. The Centrality of Florence. The Church and the City.

Lecture 2. Competition at Orsanmichele. Pictorial tecniques vs sculpture

Lecture 3. Brunelleschi, narrative and perspective. Alberti’s De Pictura. Masaccio.

Lecture 4. Painting panels and frescoes (Paolo Uccello, Beato Angelico and Andrea del Castagno).

Lecture 5. The Flemish manner. Domenico Ghirlandaio and oil painting.

Lecture 6. Cities and Courts. Artists on the move.

Lecture 7. Alberti: architecture and the antique.

Lecture 8. Pius II: Rome and Pienza.

Lecture 9. Florentine painters in Rome.

Lecture 10. Leonardo and Michelangelo in Florence.

Lecture 11. Raphael’s beginnings and his Florentine years.

Lecture 12. Raphael in Rome.

Lecture 13. Renaissance Rivals.

Lecture 14. The Florentine Schools.

Lecture 15. Art in the Italian peninsula after the Sack of Rome (1527).

Lecture 16. Rome and the arts under Pope Paul III.

Lecture 17. Court painters to Duke Cosimo I.

Lecture 18. Sculpture in Florence: Baccio Bandinelli, Cellini and Ammannati.

Lecture 19. Field trip (if possible).






Mandatory reading:


Michael Baxandall, Painting and Experience in fifteenth-century Italy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988

Stephen Campbell and Michael Cole, Italian Renaissance Art, vol. 1 and 2, New York: Thames & Hudson, 2012

Rona Goffen, Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002

The Cambridge Companion to Raphael, edited by M.B.Hall, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005

Further reading material will be made available on Moodle, the e-learning platform on which the material for every lecture will be uploaded.

Assessment methods

The course will be assessed by means of a written exam consisting in answering two out of ten questions provided on the day of the exam (14th June 2023 at 9 a.m. Aula G5, Via Trieste). 


Commissione d'esame: Prof. Cinzia Maria Sicca, Dottor Giovanni Santucci, Dottor Pasquale Focarile, Dottor Vincenzo Sorrentino, Dot.ssa Marina Porri


The course will start on April 4th. 

Examination panel: Prof. Cinzia Maria Sicca, Dottor Giovanni Santucci, Dottor Pasquale Focarile, Dottor Vincenzo Sorrentino, Dot.ssa Marina Porri


Ultimo aggiornamento 05/06/2023 18:54