History of Art: an introduction

Academic year: 2023/24

Credits: 6

Period: second semester

Number of hours: 48

Teacher: Michele Amedei (

Language of instruction: English

Learning outcomes 

The module Art History. An introductionis addressed to students who have never studied Art history before. The module first aims to introduce to the main artistic phenomena between the early 15th century and the mid-17th century. The module aims to provide the main basic skills in the analysis and interpretation of paintings and sculptures emphasizing the social, religious, and political contexts in which the artists worked, as well as the role of the patron in the creative process. Classroom lectures will be combined with field trips to Firenze and Arezzo. 


Students who successfully complete the course will acquire the basic knowledge about the analysis of artwork from the Renaissance to the Baroque period. More specifically, at the end of the module the class will be able to recognize the major art styles, movements, and artists within the early 1400s to the mid-1600s, as well as analyze and evaluate Renaissance and Baroque visual material while employing descriptive and appropriate vocabulary. 

Assessment criteria of knowledge

Students’ knowledge will be assessed through reasoned discussions covering multiple contents of the module (with the appropriate terminology). Q&A sessions, debates, and group exercises will take place during the module. At the end of it, there will be a final knowledge verification test, in the form of a written quizzes


Students who successfully complete the course will be able to understand stylistic changes over the centuries while also acquiring a basic knowledge of the main painting techniques such as fresco, oil and tempera painting on panel, as well as the different stages in the production of sculptural works.

Assessment criteria of skills 

Students will be assessed on their ability to interact with other colleagues and the teacher and show critical thinking regarding the contents of the module throughout the course. 


No prerequisites are required for this course. 

Teaching methods 

The module will cover a period of 11 weeks and will be divided into 20 lessons of 3 hours per week. The lessons will be held using, among others, digital presentations and reading material. Any communication with the teacher will ordinarily take place by e-mail. 


1. The early Renaissance: Filippo Brunelleschi and Masaccio

2. Verrocchio and Donatello

3. At the court of Lorenzo il Magnifico: Botticelli and the beginnings of Michelangelo

4. Michelangelo in Rome

5. Leonardo

6. Raffaello

7. Tiziano

8. Caravaggio

9. Baroque in Rome: Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona

10. Visit to Arezzo

11. Visit to Florence


All the necessary studying material will be provided by the teacher in an electronic form on the Moodle of the course. The didactic resources will be available at the beginning of the module and/or of each lesson. 

Assessment methods 

The examination of the knowledge and skills acquired by the students will be carried out by a final writen exam with the aim to assess the outcomes of the course. The text includes 40 multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and the student have to choose A, B, C or D.

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