DU2022 Art sine scientia nihil: Theory and Practise in the 15th-century Architecture

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2019
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
prof. PhDr. Jiří Kroupa, CSc. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Jiří Kroupa, CSc.
Department of Art History - Faculty of Arts
Supplier department: Department of Art History - Faculty of Arts
Thu 8:00–9:40 K31
It is expected at least a minimal knowledge of history of architecture in Europe.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to acquaint students with the architectural discourse around 1400 concerning the concepts of "ars" and "scientia" in the design and execution of ecclesiastical buildings.
The main axis of the course will consist with an analysis of six famous monuments: Amiens, or the labyrinth of the new “scientia”; Milan, or “ars sine scientia nihil”; Bologna, or a discussion of the building style in the 16th century; Florence, or “scientia” as experimental technical science, Pavia, or “ars” as the formation of a visually interesting whole; Mantua, or thought architecture.
The course is intended as a parallel to the course "From Madern Gertener to Benedict Ried”, dealing with the same period in Central Europe.
Learning outcomes
The student will be able after the lecture course
- to orientate himself in basic art history questions in the study of the history of architecture;
- to acquire professional architectural terminology;
- to identify an adequate way of looking at a particular architectural work;
- to communicate verbally the architectural work.
  • „…et quod est deterius oppositum est quod scientia geometriae non debet in iis locum habere eo quia scientia est unum et ars est aliud. Dictus magister Johannes Mignotius de Parisiis dicit quod ars sine scientia nihil…“ (Annali della fabbrica del duomo di Milano, I, 209; 1400).
  • 1. Amiens or the labyrinth of the new “scientia”.
  • 2. The birth of a new architect at the buildings of the great cathedrals.
  • 3. Milan, or “ars sine scientia nihil”.
  • 4. Cesare Cesariano, 1521: various types of graphic design of the Milan dome.
  • 5. Bologna or a discussion of the building style in the 16th century.
  • 6. San Petronio and the relationship between the Bologna and the Roman Baroque.
  • 7. Florence or scientia as an experimental technical science.
  • 8. Florentine “pratica” in archival documents.
  • 9. Pavia or ars as the formation of a visually interesting whole.
  • 10. North italian "rinascimento oscuro".
  • 11. Mantua or thought architecture.
  • 12. Design methods of Leon Battista Alberti.
  • WUNDRAM, Manfred and Thomas PAPE. Andrea Palladio : 1508-1580 : architect between the Renaissance and Baroque. Photo by Paolo Marton. Hong Kong: Taschen, 2008. 248 s. ISBN 9783836505475. info
  • KRUFT, Hanno-Walter. Geschichte der Architekturtheorie : von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Studienausg., 5. Aufl. München: Verlag C. H. Beck, 2004. 740 s. ISBN 340634903X. info
  • KANERVA, Liisa. Defining the architect in fifteenth-century Italy : exemplary architects in L.B. Alberti's De Re aedificatoria. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1998. 165 s. ISBN 9514108450. info
  • KRUFT, Hanno-Walter. Städte in Utopia : die Idealstadt vom 15. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert zwischen Staatsutopie und Wirklichkeit. München: C.H. Beck, 1989. 203 s. ISBN 3406339093. info
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
Oral exam.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught only once.

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