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Dr Livia Lupi


Livia Lupi joined Warwick in 2018 as a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow. She works on late medieval and early modern art and architecture, and her research focuses on the intersection of artistic and architectural practice in Europe, especially Italy. In particular, her work addresses the communicative powers of structure and ornament, strategies of architectural representation, the relationship between design and craftsmanship, the emergence of the architect as a professional figure, and the production of architectural knowledge. She also works on the relationship between Western Europe and the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

Livia obtained her BA in History of Art from the University of York, her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and then went back to York to work on her AHRC-funded PhD (2016). Before joining Warwick, she was a fellow at the Warburg Institute in London and taught at the University of York and at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Visit Livia's websiteLink opens in a new window 

Livia's book will be available in July:

cover of book painting architecture Find it hereLink opens in a new window

“Livia Lupi has written the book about painted architecture that the field of Italian Renaissance art and architecture has long needed. Moving beyond the fixation on perspective representation, she addresses the many and varied ways painters employed architecture for narrative ends. Despite the prominence of architecture in many fifteenth-century paintings, few scholars have taken it as their central subject and when they have it has often been in relation to the issue of pictorial space. Lupi widens the lens, and through an in-depth analysis of several key case studies, opens up a broad set of interpretations. Featuring beautiful color illustrations and clear prose, her book is sure to inspire many other studies.”

Cammy Brothers, Professor, Northeastern University and author of Michelangelo, Drawing and the Invention of Architecture and Giuliano da Sangallo and the Ruins of Rome

"This book explores the communicative power and astonishing variety of architectural representation in fifteenth-century Italian painting. Lupi illuminates three wonderful fresco cycles in different parts of Italy, each serving a different type of patron, and all designed to enhance reputations, strengthen authority, and shape specific identities. The meticulous research and fresh insights of this new study help us all to look closely at these vast yet strangely neglected parts of paintings, and to understand how widespread, engrained and inspiring depicted architecture can be."

Amanda Lillie, Professor Emerita, University of York and Curator of Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting

Published as part of the series Renovatio ArtiumLink opens in a new window, Harvey Miller Publishers, Brepols

Research Interests

  • Late medieval and early modern art and architecture, especially in Italy and the Netherlands
  • Representation of architecture (within and beyond Europe)
  • Design and craftsmanship across artistic and architectural practice
  • Exchanges between Italy, the late Byzantine world and the Ottoman Empire
  • History of rhetoric and its interplay with the visual arts
  • Architectural drawings
  • Painter-architect figures
  • Professionalisation of the architect

Teaching and supervision

  • Setting the Scene: Architecture and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Italy
  • Classicism
  • Sacred Art
  • The Italian City States in the Age of Dante and Petrarch

See also my new short course for the Courtauld Institute:

Intersecting Practices: Architecture and the Figurative Arts in Early Modern Italy Link opens in a new window (Jan-Feb 2025)

Service to the Profession

Livia works as an editor and specialist translator of early modern Latin and Italian texts, and is an active member of the US-based Italian Art Society and of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

She recently carried out a translation for an exhibition on Parmigianino at the National Gallery, for which she also translated a selection of Sebastiano del Piombo's letters to Michelangelo for the exhibition “Michelangelo & Sebastiano” (with Amanda Lillie, National Gallery, London, 2017), as well as letters by Titian to Philip II of Spain for “Titian: Love, Desire, Death” (National Gallery, London, 2020). She is now working on translating letters by Michelangelo for a 2025 exhibition at the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen.

She was Newsletter Editor (2020-2023) for the Italian Art Society and is now part of their Program Committee (2023-2026). Since 2022, she has been a convenor for the Architectural History Seminar, a series of research events organised by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research of the University of London.

Selected publications


Painting Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy: Innovation and Persuasion at the Intersection of Art and Architectural PracticeLink opens in a new window (Harvey Miller Publishers, July 2024)

Articles and Book Chapters

Specialist Translations

  • Michelangelo's correspondence and research essay. In Michelangelo (title tbc). Copenhagen: Statens Museum for Kunst (forthcoming March 2025)
  • Contract of Parmigianino's commission and excerpt of Maria Bufalini's will. In Parmigianino: the Vision of St Jerome. London: National Gallery (forthcoming autumn 2024)
  • Titian’s Letters. In Titian: Love, Desire, Death, exh. cat., 194-195 and 197-203. London: National Gallery and Yale University Press, 2020.
  • (with Amanda Lillie) Sebastiano del Piombo’s Letters to Michelangelo, 1518-1531. In Michelangelo & Sebastiano, exh. cat., pp. 225-237. London: National Gallery and Yale University Press, 2017.
  • Alessandro Nogarola, La vita della Serenissima Reina Maria d'Austria, Reina d’Ungheria […] (n.p., 1553), pp. 22-24. Appendix 3 in Cordula van Wyhe, “The Fabric of Female Rule in Leone Leoni’s Statue of Mary of Hungary, c. 1549-1556.” In Cambridge and the Study of Netherlandish Art, edited by Meredith Hale, pp. 135-168. Turnhout: Brepols, 2016.

Digital Exhibition

Beyond the Painter-Architect: Artists Reinventing Architecture in Renaissance Italy, Sir John Soane's Museum, London (autumn 2024)

Read more about it hereLink opens in a new window

Invited Talks

  • "Artistic Practice and the Emergence of the Architect in Italy c. 1300 – c. 1480" Medieval Visual Culture Seminar, University of Oxford (16 May 2024)
  • “The Agency of Architectural Settings: Invention, Time and Place in Fra Angelico’s Nicholas V Chapel.” Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome (2019).
  • “Drawing, Painting and Building Architecture. A Historical Perspective.” Andrew Phillips Studio, London (2017).
  • “Rhétorique du lieu: art de la mémoire et architecture dans la peinture italienne au XIVe siècle.” Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris (2017).


  • BA (York)
  • MA (London)
  • PhD (AHRC-funded, York)

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Research Fellow


Tel: +44 (0)24 765 23436

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University of Warwick
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Undergraduate modules

HA1A2 Introduction to Art History: Classicism and the Art of Christianity