Art History (Modern Art)


1. Problematically analyze the art of modern period (Renaissance-Mannerism-Baroque), distinguishing aesthetical trends and integrate them in their historic and theory context. 

Temporal context and  spatial context. Authorship. Notions concerning the Mechanical Arts and the Liberal Arts. Corporatist organization of painters and sculptors. Treatises of Painting and Sculpture. Painting values ​​and Sculpture values. Plastic and chromatic Expressions. Ensemble concept. Techniques used related to the artists’ formal intentionality., Function of the art. Symbolism and hidden messages within the artworks.

2. Compare artworks produced at the same period or within the same geographical context.

3. Plan and develop research in Art History as part of the decision making process in conservation and restoration

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Agnés Anne Françoise Le Gac Arinto


Weekly - 4

Total - 68

Teaching language



No requisite


ARGAN, Giulio Carlo, Renacimiento y Barroco, Madrid, Ed. Akal, 1987, 2vols.

AAVV, "História da Arte em Portugal", Lisbon, Alfa, 1986, vols. 4,5,6,7,8 e 9.

AAVV, "História da Arte Portuguesa", Lisbon, Círculo de Leitores, 1995, 3 vols.

Garin, Eugénio (dir.), O Homem Renancentista, Lisbon, Ed. Presença, 1991.

Harbison, Craig, The Mirror of the Artist: The Northern Renaissance Art (Prespectives), New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2003.

Snyder, James; Silver, Larry; [et al], Northern Renaissance Art, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2004.

Villari, Rosario, O Homem Barroco, Lisbon, Presença, 1994.

Venturi, Lionello, "História da Crítica da Arte", Lisbon, Ed. 70, 1998.

Welch, Evelyn, Art in Renaissance Italy 1350-1500, USA, Oxford University Press, 2001.

Teaching method

Lectures supported by audiovisual materials.

A closer look onto the subject matters is encouraged by museum and gallery visits.

 Lectures are followed by students’ questions and exercises aimed at developing critical abilities

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1. Introduction to Art History of the Modern Age. Recovery of Greco-Roman culture - Review of Platonic and Aristotelian philosophical principles.

2. Middle Ages and Renaissance: continuities and ruptures. Social and economical context.

3. Italian art of the "Trecento ". Early attempts of liberation from Byzantine culture. Case study: the Crucifix of Cimabue and its restoration in 1966 - Materials and techniques.

4. Painting of Giotto: historicism, nature and intellect. Case study: Mural paintings of the upper Basilica of Assisi and the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua - Materials and techniques.

5. Styles and technology regarding Mural painting - The artists’ formal Intentionality and their reflection in the material itself and the techniques used (fresh and dry). The invention of tratteggio for reconstructing the figurative messages artworks conveyed. Confrontation between different case studies.

 6 . Perspective and Proportions - The Florentine “Quattrocento” - Construction, and rational and unitary representation of space and time: Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio. Alberti’s treatise.

 7 . Geometric shape, light and spatial substance - The Fra Angelico’s work. The painting as "idea-dogma" by Masaccio - Painting with didactic function and mystical value by Fra Angelico. Different case studies - materials and techniques.

 8 . The evolution of art in the XVth century in Northern Europe - Flemish painting - the "absolutism" of pictorial representation in the works of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden .

 9 . The Flemish paintings from the second half of the XV century  - Dieric Bouts and the expression of the "space-distance" . Case study: The righteousness of the Emperor Otton III (1470-1475) - Materials and techniques .

10 . German painting of the XVI century - Historical context and policy . Albrecht Dürer, draftsman, printmaker, painter and treatise writer - “Pre-scientific “ studies. Case Study: Adam and Eve, produced in 1504 and in 1507 - Materials and techniques . Hans Holbein the Younger - Profane painting and the function of portrait - Works forming pairs. Case study: The Ambaixadores, 1533 - Materials and techniques.

 11 . Vasco Fernandez and European painting of the Renaissance. Case study: The Viseu Cathedral Main Altarpiece (1501-1506) - Materials and techniques.

 12 . Discoveries and expansionary effect of culture - art during D. Manuel reing. Altarpieces of the Duchy of Brabant - The corporatist organization of painters and sculptors. Case study: The Coimbra Old Cathedral main altarpiece (1499-1502) - Materials and techniques.

 13 . The Council of Trent and its impact on sacred art. Religious and secular works of Caravaggio. Case study: The Chapel of S. Matthew , St. Louis des Français , Rome - Materials and techniques.

 14 . Baroque and Clacissism in European art of the XVIIth century. The Spanish Baroque through the works of Velázquez - Materials and techniques. The Portuguese baroque and rococó productions - Works by Cipriano da Cruz and Fray Antonio Ferreira Vilaça. Case study: S. Francis Xavier Chapel, extinct Jesuit Church of Coimbra (1632-1688) - Materials and techniques.


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