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Stefano Colombo


Thesis: "The Rhetoric of Celebration in Seventeenth-Century Venetian Sepulchral Monuments"

Supervisor: Dr Lorenzo Pericolo


I completed a PhD in History of Art at the University of Warwick funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the History of Art Department at Warwick. Before moving to Warwick I studied history of art in Venice (Ca’ Foscari) and Milan (Università IULM).

I published on Venetian sepulchral monuments (Mausolus, 2017) and of Jacopo Palma Giovane’s commemorative paintings of doges at the Doge’s Palace in Venice (Artibus et Historiae, 2017).

I taught first-year BA modules as an Associate Tutor in the History of Art department at the University of Warwick and I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research summary

My doctoral research investigates the execution and reception of seventeenth-century Venetian tomb monuments of prominent patrician families as the Republic’s celebrative imagery. Going beyond the traditional interpretation of these monuments as display of funerary memory, a series of case studies examine them as rhetorical devices apt to celebrate Venice and to instil subtle forms of republican propaganda. In particular, my analysis is focused on:

• Ducal Tomb Monuments in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century

• Baldassarre Longhena’s Monument to Doge Giovanni Pesaro and the Rhetoric of the Living Image

• The Critical Reception of Longhena’s Pesaro Tomb: Monuments to Captains and War Heroes

• The Critical Reception of Longhena’s Pesaro Monument: Funerary Monuments to Venetian Merchants

Research interests

• Sculpture and architecture in Renaissance and Baroque Venice

• Ekphrasis and visual rhetoric

• The viewer’s response to the images and the physical and living presence of sculpture

• Cognitive and anthropological approaches to the study of sculpture.


Baldassarre Longhena’s Funerary Monument to Doge Giovanni Pesaro and the Rhetoric of the Living Image (work in progress)

• “Portraits of Sovereignty: Jacopo Palma Giovane and the Doges' Commemorative Cycle in the Doge's Palace, Venice”, Artibus et Historiae 75 (2017), pp. 127-48.

• “The Commemorative Monument to Doge Leonardo Loredan in Santi Giovanni e Paolo: Rethinking the Funerary memory in Early Seventeenth-Century Venice”, Mausolus, Summer 2016, pp. 23-29.

"Bellum geritur ut pax acquiratur". La celebrazione di Venezia nei dipinti di battaglie nelle sale del Maggior Consiglio e dello Scrutinio a Palazzo Ducale, in Maclodio e la sua battaglia. Immagini e divagazioni, eds Giuseppe Fusari and Elena Frosio (Brescia: Roccafranca, 2012).


Modules taught include:

• Introduction to Art History: Classicism and the Arts of Christianity

• Sculpture

• Introduction to Art History: The Natural World and the Arts of Modernity

• History of Art and Interpretation


• Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Research Grant (2015)

• Royal Historical Society Conference Travel Grant (2015)

• History of Art Department’s Doctoral Award, University of Warwick (2013)

• Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award (2013)

Conference Papers

The Sepulchral Monument of Doge Leonardo Loredan in Santi Giovanni e Paolo: Rethinking the Funerary memory in Early Seventeenth-Century Venice (Mausolea and Monuments Trust Postgraduate Symposium, London, 11 March 2016)

The Commemorative Monument of the Fini Family in San Moisè: Strategies of Self-Promotion and Social-Affirmation in Seventeenth-Century Venice (The Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Berlin, 26-28 March 2015)

Religious Piety and Celebratory Rhetoric in the Seventeenth-Century Venetian Sepulchral Monuments (Rituals from Life to Death: Performance, Art and Society, University of Warwick, 25 June 2014)

The Sepulchral Monuments to Doge Giovanni Pesaro and the Valier Family: A Comparative Reading (University of Warwick Annual Symposium, Venice, December 2013)