Research project


Thematic area

Social sciences and humanities, cultural heritage

Project area

Lingua italiana: modelli, archivi testuali e lessicali (DUS.AD006)

Structure responsible for the research project

The italian dictionary (OVI)

Project manager

Phone number: 055-452844


ITALART is a project for the creation of an Italian historical dictionary of the arts and architecture between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. As sources for the compilation it uses documents of a practical nature produced within the context of art workshops and architectural sites: contracts, surveys, payment notes, letters, corporation statutes, technical instruction manuals, etc. It is mainly these types of documents, providing examples of everyday use of language, otherwise unobtainable, which provide valuable information on the use and spread of a technical language in Vulgar Italian during the period under consideration.
An important documental contribution can be found in the two XIX anthologies on historical-artistic topics: "Documenti per la storia dell'arte senese" (Siena, Porri, 3 voll., 1854-1856) and "La scrittura di artisti italiani (secoli XIV-XVII)" (Firenze, presso l'Editore Carlo Pini, 1876), published by Gaetano Milanesi (1813-1895), a scholar from Siena.
Numerous unedited materials left unused in various archives found in Tuscany and several cities in central Italy will be added to the already edited materials contained in these anthologies.


The main objective of this research project is to contribute effectively to tracing the linguistic and conceptual formation and development of an Italian language of the arts and architecture in Italy in the centuries XIV-XVI. The project may also attract the attention of historians of the Italian language not only for strictly lexicographic or lexicological research, but also for sociolinguistic research. The corpus can in fact be used, for example, to describe the language use and competence in a sociolinguistic and, more generally, sociocultural perspective, of those belonging to the professional and social class of artist (including both first rate artists and unknown craftsmen) whose written production, from a linguistic point of view and for the period under consideration, has been analysed only sporadically.

Start date of activity



Filologia, Linguistica italiana, Storia dell'arte

Last update: 03/12/2023