XY Digitale
Critical review of studies on the representation of architecture and use of the image in science and art

Presentation of the volume ‘Art History in Europe’ by Decio Gioseffi

On Monday 13th February 23 the boardroom in the Region Building in Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia, held the presentation of the volume Art History in Europe by Decio Gioseffi, published by Il Poligrafo and Trento University in the series I libri di XY, with Società di Minerva and Trieste Contemporanea. The lecturers attending were Valerio Terraroli, professor of History of Art Criticism at Verona University, and Nicoletta Zanni, former professor of History of Art Criticism at Trieste University and supervisor of the volume with Giuliana Carbi Jesurum.

Among the numerous projects to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Decio Gioseffi’s birth (1919-2007), promoters have considered this first-time volume as an extremely interesting opportunity to print one of the last works written by the scholar from Trieste, one of the most representative personalities of the Italian artistic and historical culture of the second half of the 20th century.

The book collects prestigious examples of European art history through the centuries, from the Altamira caves to the late Renaissance (with the author’s intention to include the second half of the 20th century, too), and it deals with the entire Western artistic chain, from its relationship with the heritage of the Ancient world and the exchanges with the Near East, to the excellences that have generated and distinguished the Italian and European Renaissance.

The volume has been enriched with some of the most emblematic pictures he used in his introductory and methodological university lectures. What fascinates the reader is Decio Gioseffi’s modern application of a procedural method deriving from the scientific world to the historical narration of art events, which he often discussed during his long-time association with Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti and which comes from the author’s extensive knowledge reaching beyond his field of speciality. Therefore, the passages dedicated to place the artistic production in society and in history are crucial and this Art History in Europe extends widely and beautifully to include fashion, literature, engineering, technology, military strategy, and the history of languages.

Decio Gioseffi (Trieste 1919 – 2007)

Scholar in the Lincei Academy, former member and the President (from 1980 to 1989) of the Committee for the Artistic and Historical Heritage at the Italian Ministry of Culture (once Superior Board of Fine Arts), after the degree in Archeology and Ancient Art History in Padua he became, in 1943, assistant to Luigi Coletti then to Roberto Salvini at the Trieste University, then lecturer and finally director of the Institute of Medieval and Modern Art History from 1964 to 1993. With Perspectiva artificialis: per la storia della prospettiva. Spigolature e appunti (Olivetti Award in 1957), he started his pioneering studies on perspective and the representation of space in art, which he continued in 1960 with La cupola vaticana: un’ipotesi michelangiolesca (IN/ARCH Award in 1962) and with his monograph Giotto architetto (1963).

Report of
Cristiana Volpi

Cristiana Volpi