The aim is to provide the skills to understand the content of images and works of art, through the perception analysis of the structural and compositional characteristics of the object.
Another aim is to be able to use this knowledge and to apply it, through a critical analysis, to the observation of new contexts and situations.
Lastly, the capacity to communicate the knowledge learned to other people.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The most relevant theoretical and methodological topics for the Psychology of the arts will be treated.
The psychological approach to the arts: the artist, the artwork and the viewer. Methods of study: the psychoanalysis of the art, Gestalt psychology, experimental aesthetics and neuroesthetics. Art, perception and visual communication: symmetry, balance, rhythm, dynamics, expression. The relationship between visual and auditory perception, images and music. The aesthetic experience. The museum fruition.

Core Documentation

I testi per la preparazione dell'esame sono i seguenti

1. Mastandrea, S. (2015/21), "Psicologia dell’arte", Carocci (TUTTO); assieme a Mastandrea, S. (2017), "Psicologia della percezione", Carocci (di questo libro sono da studiare i capitoli 2, 3, 6 e 7).
2. Kandel, E. (2017). "Arte e neuroscienze. Le due culture a confronto". Raffaello Cortina Editore, Milano. Il libro va studiato TUTTO, TRANNE i seguenti paragrafi e capitoli: NON sono da studiare, del capitolo 3, le pagine 38-48; Non è da studiare tutto il cap. 4.

In addition to the textbooks, the student is required to choose an image (any type of image: a work of art, a graphic or advertising image, an image taken from picture books / books for children, a logo etc.) and apply a perceptive reading of the image according to what is reported in the book "Psychology of Art", Chap.2, "The perceptual analysis of images". You can then propose a personal explanation.
For the presentation of the chosen image and its reading, the student must use the Power Point program, with 3 slides. Below is an indication on how to structure the presentation: 1) the chosen image will be inserted in the first slide (possibly of good digital quality and large size) with a description of the work in which the author, year, title, technique will be reported , size of the work and current place of conservation; 2) the second slide will show the image on the left and on the right, in a column, the structural characteristics considered; 3) in the third and last slide, the image on the left and on the right the elements of the composition. If desired, the student can insert or superimpose the structural skeleton or lines that highlight the presence of the structural and compositional characteristics taken into consideration in the images of the second and third slides.
For the presentation of the exercise the student must upload the file, in Power Point format, on a stick (for the exam) and send the same file to my email (stefano.mastandrea@uniroma3.it) the day before the examination.

Type of delivery of the course

The course is articulated into 36 hours of lectures. In addition to the lectures, exercises will be proposed on topics, covered during the course, with the aim to lead the student to deep and and critical thinking.

Type of evaluation

The exam is oral if the number of students is limited; if the number of students is high, the exam will be written, with multiple choice or open questions. The exam registration is mandatory