Dr Elsje van Kessel

Dr Elsje van Kessel

Senior Lecturer in Art History

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 2374


Research areas

My research and teaching focus on the viewing, use and display of early modern art. I completed my Ph.D. at Leiden University, the Netherlands (2011), and I am the author of The Lives of Paintings: Presence, Agency and Likeness in Venetian Art of the Sixteenth-Century (De Gruyter, 2017). In this monograph, I examine how people in Titian’s Venice used paintings in their daily lives. I have published articles in Renaissance Studies, the Journal of the History of Collections, Studiolo, and Art History. My research has been supported by various fellowships, grants and awards: among others, from the Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

My current major research project, for which I received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, concerns the circulation of art objects within the Portuguese maritime empire at the turn of the seventeenth century, in particular as a result of piracy and privateering.

I would be delighted to hear from postgraduate students whose research interests align with the above.

PhD supervision

  • Aagje Lybeer
  • Louis Edmanson

Selected publications


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