L-ART/02 - 6 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

This course offers an overview on the different methodological approaches used in art history to outline themes, methods and orientations of social history of art. The course proposes an approach to history of art which considers the social contexts in which the works of art were produced and consumed.

Course Structure



Detailed Course Content

This course includes an introduction to methodological problems and topics of social history of art (social status of the artist, patronage, market, public, circulation and reception of the works, collections and institutions) with reference to the studies and the methods of the most important historians of art of the twentieth century. The second module will focus on the changing roles and identities of artists in society.

Textbook Information

A. Social history of art: authors, topics and methods (3 CFU)

- E. Castelnuovo, Di cosa parliamo quando parliamo di storia dell’arte [1983], in E. Castelnuovo, La cattedrale tascabile. Scritti di storia dell’arte, Sillabe, Livorno 2000, pp. 69-84.

- La storia delle storie dell’arte, a cura di O. Rossi Pinelli, Einaudi, Torino 2014, pp. 320-490.

- G.C. Sciolla, La critica d’arte del Novecento, Utet, Torino 1995, pp. 233-265 (La storia sociale dell’arte).

- E. Castelnuovo, Arte, Industria, Rivoluzioni. Temi di storia sociale dell’arte, II ed. aggiornata, con postfazione di O. Rossi Pinelli, Edizioni della Normale, Pisa 2007, pp. 7-98.


B. The social status of the artist (3 CFU)

- A. Conti, L’evoluzione dell’artista, in Storia dell’arte italiana. I Materiali e problemi, II L’artista e il pubblico, Einaudi, Torino 1979, pp. 115-263.

- G. Romano, Verso la maniera moderna: da Mantegna a Raffaello, in Storia dell’arte italiana. II Dal Medioevo al Novecento, VI* Dal Cinquecento all’Ottocento, Torino, Einaudi, 1981, pp. 5-85.


Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library; many essays can be downloaded from website.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano