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Dr Claudia Daniotti

I joined the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at Warwick in April 2020 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. My research project, entitled ‘Morally Ambiguous Ancient Women in European Art, c. 1350-1620’, investigates the literary and iconographic tradition during the medieval and Renaissance period of women from antiquity who defied contemporary social expectations by exercising ‘masculine’ virtues or vices, such as strength, courage and ambition. By focusing on the most popular heroines of this type, taken from ancient myth and history and the Old Testament (e.g. Medea, Penthesilea, Cleopatra and Judith), my research explores the vast tradition of famous women as most notably developed in French and Italian texts and images from c. 1350 to 1620. Arguing that ambiguous models from antiquity had a more significant and multifaceted impact on the formation of female identity than has previously been acknowledged, my research will also demonstrate the layered identity of women from the emergence of a female canon in Giovanni Boccaccio and Christine de Pizan to the heroines-filled art of Artemisia Gentileschi.

My area of expertise lies in Renaissance Italian art, with an emphasis on iconography, the relationship between texts and images, and the transmission of ancient visual motifs in European art and culture. I hold a PhD from the Warburg Institute, and a BA (Hons) and MA in History of Art from the Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. I have been lecturing for years both in academia and museums, teaching across a range of areas and periods in Italian art history spanning from the fourteenth to the mid-twentieth century. I was a Visiting and Associate Lecturer in Renaissance and Baroque to Neoclassical Art at Buckingham and Bath Spa Universities (2016-2019), a Teaching Assistant at the Warburg Institute (2014), and worked for three years at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art as an Education and Exhibition Assistant (2008-2011). Before joining Warwick, I was a Research Fellow at the Center for Italian Modern Art, New York (Fall 2019), where I researched the sculpture of twentieth-century Italian artist Marino Marini in light of its appropriation and reinterpretation of models from antiquity, particularly from ancient Etruria and Egypt.

I have published extensively in the fields of the classical tradition and fourteenth- to eighteenth-century art history, contributing essays, articles and catalogue entries to a number of edited volumes, journals, exhibition catalogues and conference proceedings. My first monograph on the reception of the myth of Alexander the Great in Renaissance Italian art, based on my doctoral dissertation, is forthcoming.

Research interests

  • Late medieval and Renaissance art, especially Italian
  • Classical tradition
  • Iconography and iconology
  • Posthumous life of Alexander the Great
  • Transmission of ancient texts and their interplay with the visual arts
  • The macabre and representation of Death in medieval and Early Modern Europe
  • Reception of antiquity at the court of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in Rimini
  • Aby Warburg and his legacy


Selected publications


  • Reinventing Alexander: Myth, Legend, History in Renaissance Italian Art, Brepols, Turnhout (forthcoming)
  • (with Monica Centanni and Alessandra Pedersoli), Istruzioni per scrivere una tesi, un paper, un saggio, Bruno Mondadori, Milan 2004

Journal articles and book chapters

  • ‘Stories of Valour and Love for a Wedding: The Sala di Alessandro Magno and Sala di Psiche in the Castle of Bracciano’, in Building Family Identity: The Orsini Castle of Bracciano from Fiefdom to Duchy (1470-1698), eds Max Grossman and Paolo Alei, Peter Lang, New York & Oxford 2019, pp. 403-430
  • ‘Curtius Rufus, Pier Candido Decembrio and the Impact of the Historiae Alexandri Magni on Fifteenth-Century Italian Art’, in Postérités européennes de Quinte-Curce: De l’humanisme aux Lumières (XIVe-XVIIIe siècle), ed. Catherine Gaullier-Bougassas, Brepols, Turnhout 2018, pp. 509-523
  • ‘“Varj geroglifici e piccole figure di basso rilievo, scolpite in marmo”: The Carved Doorways to the Cells in the Tempio Malatestiano’, in Gli antichi alla corte dei Malatesta: echi, modelli e fortuna della tradizione classica nella Romagna del Quattrocento (l’età di Sigismondo), Atti del Convegno Internazionale, Rimini, 9-11 giugno 2016, eds Federicomaria Muccioli and Francesca Cenerini, Jouvence, Milan 2018, pp. 197-212
  • ‘Settling Conflicts by Means of Virtue: Alexander and the Family of Darius in Renaissance European Art’, in Management and Resolution of Conflict and Rivalries, proceedings of the third research colloquium of the Leverhulme International Network Renaissance Conflict and Rivalries: Cultural Polemics in Europe, c. 1300-c. 1650 (Venice, 21-22 May 2015), eds David Lines, Jill Kraye and Marc Laureys, V&R Unipress and Bonn University Press, Göttingen (volume in preparation)
  • ‘Tra fabula e historia: sulla ricezione del mito di Alessandro il Grande nel Quattrocento’, Schifanoia, 42-43, 2013, pp. 227-240
  • Storie di Alessandro Magno in villa: intorno agli affreschi di Giambattista Crosato a Ca’ Marcello, Levada di Piombino Dese’, Arte Documento, 27, 2011, pp. 160-167
  • ‘Il mito di Alessandro dall'ellenismo al Rinascimento (e oltre)’, in L’originale assente. Introduzione allo studio della tradizione classica, ed. Monica Centanni, Bruno Mondadori, Milan 2005, pp. 165-196
  • ‘Sulle fonti, gli studi e la fortuna di Alessandro il Grande’ and (co-authored with Monica Centanni) ‘Apparato iconografico’, in Alessandro il Grande. Il Romanzo di Alessandro e la Vita di Alessandro di Plutarco, ed. Monica Centanni, Bruno Mondadori, Milan 2005, pp. LI-LVIII and 195-196


  • Review of Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Alexander the Great, ed. Kenneth R. Moore (Brill, Leiden 2018) and of John Boardman, Alexander the Great: From His Death to the Present Day (Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford 2019), International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 2020 (
  • Review of Reconsidering Boccaccio: Medieval Contexts and Global Intertexts, eds Olivia Holmes and Dana E. Stewart (University of Toronto Press, Toronto 2018), Annali d’italianistica, 37, 2019, pp. 589-591

Exhibition catalogue entries

  • Four catalogue entries (‘Diana’, ‘Plutone rapisce Proserpina’, ‘Banchetto degli dei’, ‘Il ratto di Elena’) in Dei ed eroi del Barocco veneziano. Dal Padovanino a Luca Giordano e Sebastiano Ricci, Giorgio Busetto (exhibition catalogue, Catania, Museo Civico di Castello Ursino, 3 April-6 June 2004), Giuseppe Maimone Editore, Catania 2004, pp. 164-167 and 169-170


General academic

  • (co-edited with Monica Centanni), ‘Alessandro il Grande, ai confini del mondo’, special issue of La tradizione classica nella memoria occidentale, 124, February 2015 (
  • ‘Tesori d’Afghanistan in mostra a Londra’, La tradizione classica nella memoria occidentale, 90, May-June 2011 ( review of the exhibition Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World (London, The British Museum, 3 March-3 July 2011)
  • ‘“At the Summit of All Living Painters”: Paul Delaroche perduto e ritrovato’, La tradizione classica nella memoria occidentale, 80, May 2010 ( review of the exhibition Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Grey (London, The National Gallery, 24 February-23 May 2010)


  • PhD: Combined Historical Studies, The Warburg Institute, University of London
  • MA: History of Art, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice
  • BA (Hons): History of Art, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice