The teaching is part of the overall aim of the course of study, which is to train highly qualified personnel thanks to a solid preparation with a specialised slant.
The course aims to investigate the history of drawing and engraving - in its different techniques, forms and typologies - combining direct experience of the works with a critical reading of the sources and emphasising the close connection between technique, style and function.
On completion of the course the student will be familiar with the fundamental moments in the history of the graphic arts in Europe and should be able to place the works of art analysed in class in their proper historical-critical context and in their reciprocal interactions. To this end, methodological and bibliographical support will be provided in order to proceed independently to a careful study of the works, recognising their chronology, technique, provenance and style.

Students will acquire the necessary skills and methodologies to get to know the drawing and engraving activity developed in a mainly Italian context in its European connections from the 15th century to the present day.
The object of study will be the techniques and the peculiarities̀ of style of the artists belonging to the various geographical contexts and their influences and the diffusion of models, as well aś the fortune and the main events of collecting that concern this specific field.

At the end of the lessons the student will be able to:
- be able to recognise and describe the main graphic and chalcographic techniques, types and functions of ancient drawings using scientific terminology.
- contextualise the meanings and use of drawing in the design of works of art, in workshops and in the relationship between artists and patrons

teacher profile | teaching materials


The drawing father of the arts / The language of engraving between reproduction and dissemination:
Introduction to the study of drawing and engraving with a diachronic path and knowledge of specific graphic techniques

Already in the Proem of the first edition of the Lives, Giorgio Vasari had emphasised the importance of drawing in the construction of the work of art. But in the more extensive Introduction to the 1568 edition, the artist and historiographer from Arezzo describes its forms, typologies, techniques and functions in detail.
Following Vasari's outline, the course aims to offer an awareness of the arts of drawing as the foundation of all arts, a technical instrument that allows the artist to organise and get to know external reality in its various appearances, and to express his or her inner concepts and ideas in visible forms.
The course consists of two parts:
The first will examine the evolution of drawing from the 15th to the 21st century, highlighting the importance progressively accorded to it, from a mere design or mnemonic tool - in relation to the dynamics of artistic workshops - to a conceptual foundation of artistic practice. The technical aspects and collecting aspects will also be considered fundamental.

In the second part, the specific documentary, multiplicative and diffusive nature of engraving will be examined, with a focus on its different technical modes as they were developed over the same time span, and their characteristic declination according to expressive and communicative purposes.

The materials and techniques
The supports
The tools
Pentimenti, transfer methods, restoration and tampering
Forms, functions and typologies
Functional design
Autonomous drawing

Attendance of lectures and especially workshops/seminars at the Central Institute for Graphics is highly recommended.

Core Documentation

- Annamaria Petrioli Tofani, I materiali e le tecniche, in Il disegno. Forme, tecniche, significati, edited by A. Petrioli Tofani, S. Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, G.C. Sciolla, Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino, Turin 1991, pp. 185-251;
- Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, Forme, funzioni, tipologie, in Il disegno. Forme, tecniche, significati, edited by A. Petrioli Tofani, S. Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, G.C. Sciolla, Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino, Turin 1991, pp. 91-183.
- Ginevra Mariani (ed.), Le tecniche d'incisione a rilievo. La xilografia, De Luca, Rome 2001
- Ginevra Mariani (ed.), Le tecniche calcografiche d'incisione diretta. Burin, drypoint, black manner, De Luca, Rome 2003
- Ginevra Mariani (ed.), Le tecniche calcografiche d'incisione indiretta. Acquaforte, acquatinta, lavis, ceramolle, De Luca, Roma 2005;
+ Other texts to be defined shortly

Familiarity with the following tools is required and will be presented in class:
- F. Lugt, Les Marques de Collections de Dessins et d'Estampes, Amsterdam 1921. Supplement: La Haye 1956 ON LINE: www.marquesdecollections.fr

Teaching support tools

Projections of PPT images, which will be made available to the student at the end of the course.
Other materials, which will be made available in a manner to be communicated as the course progresses, relating to specific thematic topics.

- C. M. Briquet, Les Filigranes: Dictionnaire Historique de Marques du papier, Geneve 1907, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1932. ON LINE http://www.ksbm.oeaw.ac.at/_scripts/php/BR.php

The bibliography is identical for attending and non-attending students.

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures; seminar visits with exercises in front of original works; visits to exhibitions, collections and libraries.


Given the seminar format of the course, attendance is to be considered mandatory

Type of evaluation

The assessment of learning will consist of an oral test in which the candidate will have to sustain a critical discussion based on the texts in the syllabus and a short written paper (in the form of a ministerial cataloguing form) that will have to verify the technical and stylistic reading knowledge learnt in the workshop lessons at the Central Institute for Graphics. Assessment of the test The assessment method for the interview follows the principle of considering as excellent the test of Candidates who combine solid art-historical skills with a mature critical awareness. To pass the oral examination, the candidate must therefore demonstrate that he/she has acquired a critical knowledge of the topics discussed during the course and of the bibliography indicated in the programme. At the end of the course the candidate should be able to: - Know the outlines of the history of drawing and engraving between the 15th and 20th century - Recognise and analyse the most significant works - Develop personal reflections - Demonstrate a critical understanding of the various themes discussed - Use correct terminology The achievement of an organic vision of the themes addressed, the possession of a mastery of expression and specific language, the originality of reflection as well as familiarity with the tools of analysis of graphic works produced in the modern age will be assessed with marks of excellence. A mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, an unarticulated ability to synthesise and analyse or language that is correct but not always appropriate, as well as a scholastic command of the topics covered by the course will lead to fair marks. Formative deficits or inappropriate language, as well as a lack of knowledge of the tools of analysis will lead to grades that are on the threshold of sufficiency. Formative deficiencies, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliography as well as inability to analyse will only lead to negative marks. The method of examination described is the same for attending and non-attending students.