Research in this area

The research specialisms of the art history team stretch from the medieval to the contemporary era. Major European art historical periods, from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to Realism and Modernism, are a key focus but we also have specialist knowledge in postcolonial approaches to art history.

We are engaged in interdisciplinary research on the wider historical context of artworks, and we place a strong emphasis on their material and self-reflexive aspects. Methodologically, our work is characterised by our interest in the social history of art, the role of art in the staging of national, political and sexual identities, the reception of art and—connected to this—the history of exhibition practices and display strategies. 

All members of the team work as guest curators for leading galleries and museums in the UK and Europe, and this means we also contribute to cultural debates generated by exhibitions of the present day.

Principal current areas of research include:

  • 3 The history of collecting and curating
  • 3 Postcolonialism and art history
  • 3 Meta-painting in Western visual culture
  • 3 Political iconography and representations of sexual violence in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
  • 3 The reception of the Renaissance and Renaissance artists from 1750 to the present
  • 3 The history and practice of art historical writing in Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries