Dr Francesca Borgo

Dr Francesca Borgo

Lecturer in Art History

Researcher profile




Francesca Borgo received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History with a minor field in Italian Studies from Harvard University in 2017. She previously studied in Italy and Spain and holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Prior to coming to St Andrews, Francesca was a Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (2017-18), the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz  (2013-17), Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (2015), and the University of Hamburg (2016). Her work has been supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Max-Planck Gesellschaft, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Renaissance Society of America, the Italian Art Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

Research areas

Francesca Borgo specializes in early modern art, with a focus on fifteenth- and sixteenth-century southern Europe. Much of her research investigates the intersections between visual, literary, and scientific culture in Renaissance Italy. Her current book project explores the emergence of an art critical discourse surrounding the representation of war during the Cinquecento. A second project, The Fragile Image in the Renaissance, looks at the early modern perception of vulnerable, decaying and lost artworks. Other research interests include the work of Leonardo da Vinci and the history of the field of Leonardo studies; the relationship between natural philosophy and artistic theory; the shield as an emblem of artistic excellence; premodern notions of imagination and invention; the physiology of perception and theories of sensory differentiation; antagonistic dynamics in Renaissance culture (among artists, artworks, and media).

PhD supervision

  • Cecilia Mazzocchio

Selected publications


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