basic knowledge and capacity for historical contextualization of the problems related to the discipline; ability to understand and analyze critical language and related historiographical issues; ability to interpret texts and bibliographical research; acquisition of tools useful for focusing on the links between works of art and artistic debate; ability to elaborate and communicate oral issues related to the discipline
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course aims to provide a solid basic grounding in the themes and personalities that qualified the evolution of the art-historical discipline between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Core Documentation

R. Longhi, Proposte per una critica d’arte, in “Paragone”, 1, 1950, pp. 5-19, ed. in Edizione delle opere
complete di Roberto Longhi. XIII. Critica d’arte e buon governo, Firenze 1985, pp. 9-20;
R. Longhi, Editoriale. Il livello medio della nostra cultura artistica, in “Paragone”, 13, 1951, pp. 3-7, ed. in Edizione delle opere complete di Roberto Longhi. XIII. Critica d’arte e buon governo, Firenze 1985, pp. 21-25;
G. Romano, Storie dell’arte. Toesca, Longhi, Wittkower, Previtali, Roma 1998;
La storia delle storie dell’arte, a cura di Orietta Rossi Pinelli, Einaudi, Torino 2014, pp. 180-490;
A. Bacchi, Federico Zeri e “l’intelligenza delle maniere”, in Federico Zeri. Dietro l’immagine; opere d’arte e fotografia, a cura di A. Ottani Cavina, Torino 2009, pp. 17-23.

In addition to the study of all the bibliographic materials adopted in the course, nonattending students must demonstrate knowledge of at least one of the following texts:

L’arte di scrivere sull’arte. Roberto Longhi nella cultura del nostro tempo, a cura di G. Previtali, Roma 1982;
The Art Historian. National Traditions and Istitutional Practices, a cura di M.F. Zimmerman, Williamstown 2003, pp. VII-XXVII, 3-24, 41-66, 147-199;
Bernard Berenson, Formation and Heritage, a cura di J. Connors, L.A. Waldmann, Cambridge 2014, pp. 33-68, 101-172, 269-282;
S. Garinei, Costruire nazioni: questioni identitarie nell’arte e nella critica italiana e tedesca (1895-1915), Roma 2018, pp. 11-213;
J. Anderson, La vita di Giovanni Morelli nell’Italia del Risorgimento, Milano 2019.

Type of delivery of the course

The course combines lectures with some seminar-type visits.


Compatibly with the possibilities of each student, attendance is strongly recommended.

Type of evaluation

The exam consists of an oral test, in which is verified the knowledge of all the texts adopted and of all the topics discussed during the lessons. For non-attending students, an additional bibliography is provided, explicitly indicated in the program (“for non-attending students”). The final evaluation takes into account three factors: 1) the depth and breadth of the knowledge acquired; 2) the property of language and the mastery of the discipline’s specific vocabulary; 3) the ability to critically range between the issues addressed.