Agostino De Rosa


Course description
The course aims at introducing the students to know and to interpret the figurative forms by means of which the Western and the Eastern (especially Sino-Japanese) cultures used to represent time and space. Starting from the analysis of the anthropologic positions that have historically distinguished the two ethno-cultural fields, the course will provide a close examination of why, despite the development in the West of the conical linear perspective during the Renaissance, it’s been privileged in the Far East the pseudo-axonometry which quickly became the symbolic form for that complex native philosophical and religious context. The theme of the representation of light and shadow in both of the figurative contexts will be particularly underlined, employing materials coming not only from the history of art and of figuration, but also from literature, music and cinema.

Learning outcomes
The expected learning outcomes are those related to a development for the students of a comparative approach between the Western and Eastern forms of representation, by means of the analytic observation and the documentary study of some of milestones’ figurative art. The course aims at developing in the student her/his own critical capacities in the exegesis of images characterized by a strong geometric and symbolic content, even if distant from an ethnographic point of view, by trying to underline the common features which link them.

Teaching and evaluation methods
The course will be held with lectures, and with the aid of multimedia materials. The students’ learning status will be evaluated with two short individual exercises during the course, in the form of seminaries, each counting for the 30% of the final grade (30%+30%=60%). The remaining 40% will be given according to the final exam, which will consist of a discussion about the themes developed during the course.
Evaluation methods:
30% 1st individual exercise
30% 2nd individual exercise
40% Final discussion

Detailed bibliography
Required readings
- Panofsky, E. (1996). Perspective as Symbolic Form, Zone Book, Brooklyn, New York.
- Plummer, H. (1987). Poetics of Light, in “A+U”, Tokyo December.
- Junichiro, T. (2001). In Praise Of Shadows, new edition, London, Vintage Classics.

Suggested readings
-AA.VV., VIA/Architecture and Shadow, #11, Philadelphia 1990
-Aromberg Levin, M., Piero della Francesca: The Flagellation, New York 1972
-Bauer, G., Experimental Shadow Casting and the Early History of Perspective, in "Art Bullettin", vol. LXIX, June 1987
-Baxandall, M., Shadows and Enlightenment, New Haven e London 1995
-Clunas, C., Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China, London 1997
-Fong, M., The technique of 'chiaroscuro' in Chinese Painting from Han through T'ang, in "Artibus Asiae", XXXVIII, 2/3, Ascona 1976
-Glum, P., Light without shade, I, in "Oriental Art" n°4, Winter 1981/82
-Glum, P., Light without shade, II, in "Oriental Art" n°1, Spring 1982
-Gombrich, E. H., Shadows/The depiction of cast shadows in western art, London 1995.
-Hung, W., The Double Screen/Medium and Representation in Chinese painting, London 1996
-Inoue, M., Space in Japanese Architecture, New York/Tokyo, 1985
-Isozaki, A., 'Ma': Japanese Time-Space, in "JA", Tokyo February 1979
-Itoh, T., Space and Illusion in the Japanese Garden, New York-Tokyo & Kyoto, 1977
-Kemp, M., The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat, Yale 1992
-Maeda, R. J., Spatial Enclosures: the Idea of lnterior Space in Chinese Painting, in "Oriental Art" #4, Fall 1985/86
-Maki, F., Japanese City Spaces and the Concept of Oku, in "JA", Tokyo May 1979
March, B., A Note on Perspective in Chinese Painting, in "The China Journal", VII/2, August 1929
-March, B., Linear Perspective in Chinese Painting, in "Eastern Art" n°3, Philadelphia 1931
-Needham, J., Wang, L., Lo Gwey, D., voice Perspective, in AA.VV., "Science and Civilization in China", vol. IV, Cambridge 1971
-Nietschke, G., From Shinto t o Ando/Studies in Architectural Anthropology in Japan, London-Berlin 1993
-Scolari, M., Oblique Drawing: A History of Anti-Perspective, Cambridge Mass. 2012
-Wells, W.H., Perspective in early Chinese Painting, London 1935

No previous knowledge required.


Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,

phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510

VAT: 02928970272