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Laura Staccoli

Thesis: Theory, practice and culture of disegno in the Carracci’s Reform of the Arts, 1582-1619

Supervisors: Dr Giorgio Tagliaferro, Prof. David Ekserdjian, Dr. David Hemsoll



I studied Italian Literature and History of Art (BA, LM) at the University of Bologna, and graduated magna cum laude. In 2017, I received my master’s degree in History of Art (Distinction) from the Courtauld Institute in London, where I specialised in prints and drawings in the Early Modern period. In 2018-19, I worked in the Curatorial Department of Prints and Drawings at Windsor Castle, researching and cataloguing a group of sixteenth-century Italian drawings in the Royal Collection. In 2023, I was awarded the Michael Bromberg Fellowship to deepen knowledge of print history and printmaking techniques at the British Museum.



Drawing was at the core of the Carracci Academy, established in Bologna in 1582 by the brothers Agostino and Annibale together with their cousin Ludovico. Wanting to break with the local artistic tradition, the Carracci promoted a radically different approach to art, based on the study of nature and life drawing, and created a new pedagogical path for the education of the artist, which eventually came to dominate European art until the nineteenth century. By analysing the materiality, function and use of drawings in the Academy, with a particular focus on Agostino Carracci (Bologna 1557- Parma 1602), this project will explore the concept and practice of disegno, intended not only as an academic exercise, but also as a fundamental element in the visualization and exchange of ideas, and its impact on the development of knowledge and visual culture.

AHRC-funded Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C)