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Professor Louise Bourdua


Professor Louise Bourdua completed her BA at McGill University (Canada) before moving to London, where she took her MA in Medieval Studies from Westfield College (University of London) and PhD at Warwick University. She returned to her alma mater in 2007, having previously taught at the University of Aberdeen.

She was Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, for the academic year 2013-2014;; Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Visiting Professor at The Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence (2011); and the Academic Convenor of the Association of Art Historians 37th Annual Conference hosted by Warwick on 2-4 April 2011

Professor Bourdua is a member of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance and the History of Art department's Art in Italy 1200 -1700: Research on Venice and Northern Italy research cluster.

Research interests

Artistic patronage, iconography, religious orders and intersections between the Veneto and Northern Europe in the later middle ages and Renaissance. Further Information.

Over the years my research has been generously funded by the Center for Advanced Research in the Visual Arts (NGA Washington), The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and The British Academy. Earlier support was provided by the British School at Rome (Balsdon and Rome Scholarship), the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy/Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for Venetian Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the CVCP (UK).

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught include:

  • Venice: Rise and Myth (1100-1600)
  • Giotto & Assisi (13th-14th centuries)
  • The Altarpiece
  • Sacred Art
  • Italian City States
  • Introduction to Art History: Classicism to Christianity
  • MA Research in the Middle Ages/Renaissance (Venice based)

Current or recent PhD/M.Phil supervision includes the history of collections (Italian medieval and renaissance, Asia and Italy, iconographic studies such as the Labours of the Month, the cult of the Magdalen in the pre-Alps, the Sybils in Flemish art, the interest in Bacchus and other mythological figures during the Renaissance; Duecento to Seicento studies (including encounters between Italy and the world); aspects of patronage (Genoa, Siena, Maremma); and Venetian topics such as the transport of large paintings and material considerations, Venice's visual culture following the Catholic Reform, sculptural portraits from the 14th to the 16th century, marionettes from the middle ages to the 18th century, and the business of art under Napoleon. See Student Research.

Administrative roles

  • Chair of the SCAPVC Research Ethics Committee
  • Director of PGResearch Students SCAPVC
  • Convener: Introduction to Art History. Classicism and the Arts of Christianity (autumn 2022)

Select publications

  • Andrews, Frances and Louise Bourdua. "Fashioning the "Order of Saint Clare." A Rule illuminated by Neri da Rimini: Princeton University Library MS 83 in context."Franciscan Studies, vol. 81, 2023, p. 75-114 <>
  • '"qui locus vocatur el Batisterio". Space, liturgy and multiple vantage points : the frescoes of the Baptistery of Padua by Giusto de’Menabuoi'. In Gli spazi del sacro nell'Italia medievale, eds F. Massaccesi and G. Valenzano (Bologna: 2022) pp. 327-353. < opens in a new window>
  • 'The dynamics of artistic patronage at the Santo and the role of the franciscans /Le dinamiche della committenza artistica al Santo e il ruolo dei francescani,' in La Pontificia Basilica di Sant'Antonio in Padova, eds, Luciano Bertazzo, Girolamo Zampieri, 3 vols, Rome, 2021, vol. 1, pp. 505-537 <>
  • The Discovery of the Trecento in the Nineteenth Century, in Predella, Journal of the Visual Arts, nos 41/42, 2017 (Feb. 2019); guest editor of special issue with 22 articles, available online <em>Predella</em> , and in paperback.

  • 'Illumination, Painting and Sculpture', in Dante in Context, eds Z. Baranski and L. Pertile (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 401-426.
  • '“Stand by your man”: Caterina Lupi, wife of Bonifacio. Artistic patronage beyond the deathbed in late medieval Padua’, in Venice and the Veneto During the Renaissance. The Legacy of Benjamin Kohl, Florence University Press & Reti Medievali, 2014), pp. 405-428.
  • A Wider Trecento. Studies in 13th- and 14th- Century European Art Presented to Julian Gardner, edited with Robert Gibbs (Brill, 2012): includes ‘Some Pilgrimage Sources for Altichiero’, pp. 190-199.
  • 'The Serenissima's Largesse to Paduans in the Early Fifteenth Century', in L'iconografia della solidarieta, eds M. G. Muzzarelli and M. Carboni (Marsilio, 2012) pp. 59-66.
  • 'The Arts in Florence after the Black Death’ in Florence, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis (Cambridge, 2012) pp. 70-118.
  • '"Master" Plans of Devotion or Daily Pragmatism? The Dedication and Use of Chapels and Conventual Spaces by the Friars and the Laity at the Santo 1263-1310', Il Santo, LI (2011) pp. 1-20.
  • ‘Exports to Padua Trecento style: Altichiero’s Roman legacy’, in Rome Across Time and Space. Cultural Transmission and the Exchange of Ideas c. 500–1400, eds. Claudia Bolgia, Rosamond McKitterick and John Osborne (Cambridge University Press, 2011) pp. 291-302.
  • 'Time-Keeping in Fourteenth-Century Venetian Sculpture: Andriolo de Santi's Absenteeism', The Sculpture Journal, 19.1 (2010) pp. 102-107.
  • 'Pellegrini, santi, artisti. Per un'iconografia del viaggio in veneto nel tardo medioevo', in Il viaggio e le arti: il contesto italiano, eds L. Bertolini and A. Cipollone (Alessandria, 2009) pp. 193-201.
  • 'Religious Orders and Their Fresco Cycles in the Later Middle Ages', in Le immagini del francescanesimo. Atti del XXXVI Convegno internazionale Assisi, 9-11 ottobre 2008 (Spoleto, 2009) pp. 195-216.
  • Art and the Augustinian Order in Early Renaissance Italy, edited with Anne Dunlop (Ashgate, 2007): includes 'Entombing the Founder St Augustine of Hippo', pp. 29-50.
  • The Franciscans and Art Patronage in Late Medieval Italy, Cambridge University Press, 2004; paperback edn. 2011.

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  • PhD (Warwick)
  • MA (London)
  • BA (McGill)

Prof Louise BourduaProfessor Louise Bourdua


Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50653

Term two: on medical leave.

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University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7HS

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Spring term: on medical leave.


Spring term: on medical leave.