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Dr Francesca Borgo

Lecturer in Art History

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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. 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; 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); the shield as an emblem of artistic excellence.

Francesca 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 Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (2013-2017), 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. She was recently awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Getty Research Institute and is the first recipient of the RSA-Kress Carlo Pedretti Fellowship in Leonardo da Vinci Studies.

Until September 2018 Francesca is on leave at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. She will contribute to the annual research theme, Iconoclasm and Vandalism, with a project on early modern responses to the vulnerability and resilience of images in times of conflict.

Publications and activities