Students who attend this course will acquire knowledge of the History of Flemish and Dutch Art in the early modern age, especially with regard to the aspects of the Social History of Art, History of Patronage and Collecting.
Students will be given the opportunity to learn about the sites, the artists, the standard works of the History of Flemish and Dutch Art in the seventeenth century and the ability to use the main tools for the interpretation of the data (sources and historiographical debate).They will also be able to apply the method acquired in the art-historical investigation to other authors, works and contexts than those dealt with in class. They will also be able to communicate their knowledge, acquiring specialised vocabulary. Finally, the students of the course will be able to acquire a study method based on the specificity of the historical-artistic discipline aimed at interpreting and commenting analytically works and contexts of the modern age.

teacher profile | teaching materials


From the artwork to the context of origin and vice versa: Flemish and Dutch paintings from the deposits of the Barberini Corsini National Galleries (second part)

You have in front of you a work of art, a painting that is rarely exhibited, you can look at it closely with a magnifying glass, take apart its frame, touch (with gloves) the pictorial surface, you can turn it over, record the numbers or seals with which it is covered, and then what? Through this course, which is eminently workshop-based in nature, it is intended to prompt, strengthen, and problematize the students' manual skills and knowledge through direct confrontation with a limited number of paintings executed in the Flemish and Dutch areas from the 15th to the 18th centuries. For this purpose, the students will be welcomed one morning each week (on Fridays) at the Museo Laboratorio of the Barberini Corsini National Galleries, where, with the help of Dr. Paola Nicita and the collaboration of Prof. Giovanna Sapori, they will be introduced to the analysis of the work of art, its state of preservation, and the elements that contribute to the attestation of its collecting and material history. Conversely, in-class lectures will serve to contextualize the works within the stylistic, iconographic tradition, sources, and historiographical treatment, but above all within the framework of a general outline of the art history of the southern and northern Netherlands in the modern age. Each work, from the copy to the masterpiece, from the painting of the highest quality to that of commonplace workmanship, will participate directly in the process of discovering a school, a genre, a technique of execution, a medium, a relative and absolute chronology.

Core Documentation

For the preparation for the exam it is necessary the critical study of

a) At least one of the following text: Ghislain Kieft, I Paesi Bassi settentrionali: arte, mestiere e committenza nel secolo d'oro, in La pittura nei Paesi Bassi, a cura di B.W.Meijer, Milano, Electa, 1997, tomo II, pp. 409-522 (scaricabile) or Mariette Westermann, The Art of the Dutch Republic. 1585-1718, New York, Harry Abrams, 1996.
b) at least one of the books that will be suggested during the workshop: Svetlana Alpers, Arte del descrivere. Scienza e pittura nel Seicento olandese, Torino, Bollati
Boringhieri, ed. 1999; Simon Shama, Il disagio dell'abbondanza. La cultura olandese dell'epoca
d'oro, Milano, Mondadori, ed.1993 o successive; Svetlana Alpers, L'officina di Rembrandt. L'atelier
e il mercato, Torino, Einaudi, ed.2006; Daniel Arasse, L'ambizione di Vermeer, Torino, Einaudi, ed.
2006; Marco Mascolo, Rembrandt. Un artista nell'Europa del Seicento, Roma, Carocci, 2021.
c)At least one of the texts that will be suggested during the workshop.
d) didactical materials (on Teams).

Non-attending students must add to this syllabus (with the exception of item d which is precluded to them) the in-depth study of a second text from those listed in item b) and must read all the essays listed in item c).

Reference Bibliography

Additional bibliographical recommendations will be offered during the lectures and the workshops.

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures, workshops, on-site visits at the Museo Laboratorio delle Gallerie Nazionali Barberini e Corsini.


Course attendance is mandatory. Students who do not have the opportunity to attend the course will have to take the exam with a specific program (see here the section Texts adopted and reference).

Type of evaluation

Oral exam at the end of the lessions, by a vote of thirty and eventual laude. The threshold for passing the exam is set at 18/30. Voting beliw 18 be equivalebt to insufficient evaluation of learning. The rating scale is 30/30. Evaluation elements are: 1) the depth and breadth of the knowledge acquired;2) the ownership of language and the mastery of the sector vocabulary; 3) the ability to critically link issues and problems addressed.