Professor, Chair, Department of History of Art
Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art
Office: Mergenthaler Hall 257
Phone: (410) 516-4928
I am a specialist in Italian art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. My work has particularly focused on the artistic culture of North Italian court centers, on the Ferrarese painter Cosmè Tura and the Paduan Andrea Mantegna; other projects have resulted in studies of Giorgione, the Carracci, Agnolo Bronzino, Michelangelo and Rosso Fiorentino. In general, my research has explored the relation between artistic theory and practice and literary models of imitation and interpretation, along with the consequences of this encounter for the reception of the work of art in broader social and religious spheres. Recent and current projects include a book on the rise of mythological painting in Italy and a study of the political dimensions to the sixteenth century court style known as "Mannerism."
I was educated at Trinity College , Dublin (BA 1985), the University of North Carolina (MA 1987) and Johns Hopkins University (1993). Before joining the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 2002 I taught at Case Western Reserve University (1993-94), the University of Michigan (1995-1999), and the University of Pennsylvania (1999-2002). In 1993 I published a book for a general audience on the Great Irish Famine of 1847-1851, with a preface by President of Ireland Mary Robinson. In 2002 I was guest curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, for the exhibition Cosmè Tura: Painting and Design in Renaissance Ferrara.
I have held post-doctoral fellowships at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1994-95), the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence (1999-2000) and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery, Washington (2005-06).