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Haoyang Lin

Thesis: The Collective Imaginary of Cathay in the Visual Culture of North Italy in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Supervisors: Prof. Louise Bourdua and Dr. Marta Ajmar

My PhD is funded by Chancellor's International Scholarships (Warwick) from 2023, and received the Art Scholars Award from the Company of Art Scholars Charitable Trust in 2022.

Current research:

My research will investigate the image of Cathay (medieval/early modern China) as created by artists in late medieval and early modern northern Italy. Cathay was an amalgamation of a construct and a cradle of artefacts. Literary sources fuelled the imagination of this region in northern Italy, while cartographic depictions revealed knowledge of it, but also conveyed ideas generated by artists. This research would study in an original way how Cathay was represented in northern Italy in all its facets over two centuries. It aims to understand and reconstruct artists’ recreation of Cathay through a process of appropriation, elaboration, and repurposing. Overall, it may provide crucial perspectives on understanding current and future transcultural stereotypes.

Research Interests:

  • Late Medieval and early modern Italian frescos, altarpieces, and illuminated manuscripts
  • Visual descriptions in Mappa Mundi
  • Global Renaissance
  • Transmission of images in Italy in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
  • Material culture and technique of the Medieval and Renaissance paintings


  • 2020-2021: MA in History of Art and Visual Studies (University of Warwick)
  • 2016-2020: BA in History of Art (China Academy of Art, 中国美术学院)

Before my PhD study, I worked at the Holarte Gallery in Hangzhou.

  • Latin
  • Italian
  • Italian Palaeography


Sept 2023: 'The Representation of the Tartar Textile in Simone Martini's Annunciation' (History of Art PGR Symposium 2023, University of Warwick)

June 2023: 'The Representation of the Tartar Textile in Simone Martini's Annunciation' (Global Making: People, Materials, Environments, Università Ca' Foscari and University of Warwick)

Contact: haoyang dot lin at warwick dot ac dot uk