Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: TANCREDI MARIA BELLA

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to offer in-depth knowledge of artistic contexts, of the specificity of languages, of iconography, of techniques and stylistic problems, as well as of the aspects connected to fruition in the liturgical sense in relation to Italian and European medieval production.

A first study will be dedicated to the Italian architectural production from the early Middle Ages to the beginning of the Gothic, with particular reference to the Romanesque in its regional variations and to Sicily.

A second study will be dedicated to the architectural and plastic production of Sicily immediately after the Norman conquest of the island up to the foundation of the kingdom (11th-12th century), with reference to the Latin context and the medieval cathedral of Catania.

At the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding skills that integrate, extend and reinforce those associated with the first cycle and allow them to develop and apply original ideas, often in a research context, to communicate their conclusions and acquired knowledge and to study in a self-directed or autonomous way.

Course Structure

Lecture format.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is not compulsory.

Detailed Course Content

1. Contexts, functions, iconography and liturgical space in medieval art.

2. Italian medieval shipyards (8th-12th century).

3. Art in Latin Norman Sicily in the county age. The cathedral of Catania.

Textbook Information


- P. Piva (ed.), L’Arte medievale nel contesto. 300-1300. Funzioni, iconografia, tecniche, Jaca Book, Milano 2006 (and subsequent reprints), 450 pagine.

- P. Piva (ed.), Arte medievale. Le vie dello spazio liturgico, Jaca Book, Milano 2012, 262 pagine.

The student will study a selection of essays of his choice from both books, equal to 4 CFU (600 pages in total)



- C. Tosco, L’architettura medievale in Italia. 600-1200, Società Editrice Il Mulino, Bologna 2016, pp. 1-323.



- C.D. Fonseca, «Catedra pontificatus» e potere politico: il ruolo delle Cattedrali nel quadro degli assetti istituzionali del Mezzogiorno d’Italia, in G. Zito (ed.), Chiesa e società in Sicilia, l’età normanna, SEI, Torino 1995, pp. 11-20.

- S. Fodale, Fondazione e rifondazioni episcopali da Ruggero I a Gugliemo II, in G. Zito (ed.), Chiesa e società in Sicilia, l’età normanna, SEI, Torino 1995, pp. 51-61.

- F. Gandolfo, Le cattedrali siciliane, in A.C. Quintavalle (ed.), Medioevo: l’Europa delle cattedrali, Electa, Milano 2007, pp. 191-207.

- F. Gandolfo, La scultura nella Sicilia normanna, vol. 1, Edizioni Tored, Tivoli 2019, pp. 13-43.

- M. Tabanelli, Architettura sacra in Calabria e Sicilia nell’età della Contea normanna, De Luca Editori d’Arte, Roma 2019, pp. 9-46, 55-98, 161-168.

- M. Tabanelli, Le cattedrali del conte Ruggero: pluralità e dialettica nell’architettura sacra tra Calabria e Sicilia, in M. Tabanelli, A. Tranchina (ed.), Calabria greca Calabria latina. Segni monumentali di una coesistenza (secoli XI-XII), Campisano Editore, Roma 2020, pp. 113-132;

- T. Bella, The cathedral of Catania and the creation of the Norman County of Sicily. Transregional and transalpine models in the architecture of the late 11th century, in J. McNeill, R. Plant (ed.), The Regional and Transregional in Romanesque Europe, British Archaeological Association, London – New York 2021, pp. 157-169.

- F. Liguanti, Le cripte nelle cattedrali siciliane di Ruggero I d’Altavilla. Origini, ruolo e rispondenze architettoniche, in «Studi e Ricerche di Storia dell’Architettura», VI/11 (2022), pp. 90-103.

- F. Linguanti, Le recenti acquisizioni sulla cattedrale di Troina e lo schema a navata unica nella Contea normanna di Sicilia: un modello per la conquista?, in «ABside. Rivista di Storia dell’Arte», 4 (2022), pp. 95-110.

- T. Bella, La cattedrale medievale di Catania. Un cantiere normanno nella contea di Sicilia, FrancoAngeli (“Culture artistiche del Medioevo”, 3), Milano 2023, pp. 9-98, 237-320 (reference images pp. 369-440).


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.