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 architectural creativity and 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, including its social, cultural and political implications, and the production of architectural knowledge. She is also interested in exchanges between Western Europe and the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Livia's research falls within the departmental theme of Art in Venice and Northern Italy. Before joining Warwick, she was a fellow at The Warburg Institute in London (2017) and taught at the University of York (2014 and 2016) and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2018).
Her book, Painting Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy: Innovation and Persuasion at the Intersection of Artistic and Architectural Practice, is forthcoming with Brepols. Arguing that architecture in painting provided a unique platform for experimentation, the book contends that artists played a crucial role in the elaboration of the classical architectural heritage, redefining the status of architectural forms as a kind of cultural currency. As it explores the nexus between innovation and persuasion, the volume highlights an early form of little-discussed paragone between painting and architecture which relied on a shared understanding of architectural invention as a symbol of prestige. This approach offers a precious insight into how architectural forms were perceived and deployed, be they two or three-dimensional, at the same time clarifying the intersection of architecture and the figural arts in the work of later, influential figures like Giuliano da Sangallo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Baldassarre Peruzzi.
Livia is currently working on a special collection of articles for journal Architectural Histories, co-edited with Krista De Jonge and featuring an article reassessing craftsmanship and the social implications of the architectural profession in Renaissance Italy. She is also preparing a digital exhibition for the Sir John Soane Museum in London, entitled "Beyond the Painter-Architect: Artists Reinventing Architecture in Renaissance Italy" and scheduled for late autumn 2023. Research for this exhibition is informing an article on the architectural imagination of painters in Northern Italy.
Further publication plans include two book projects. The first, provisionally entitled "Architecture and Craftsmanship in Early Modern Italy," explores the relationship between design and craftsmanship in connection with the emergence of the architect as a professional figure. Her forthcoming article for Architectural Histories is the first result of this research. The second book, provisionally entitled "Architecture and the Other. Ottoman Encounters and the Production of Architectural Knowledge in Early Modern Europe," investigates how diverse individuals, from merchants and craftsmen to scholars, negotiated the classical architectural heritage in contested territories. The first output of this work will be an article focusing on the travels of fifteenth-century merchant Cyriac of Ancona.
Livia also works as a specialist translator of early modern Italian texts. In 2017, she translated a selection of Sebastiano del Piombo's letters to Michelangelo for the exhibition “Michelangelo & Sebastiano” (with Amanda Lillie, National Gallery, London, 2017), while in 2020 she translated letters by Titian to Philip II of Spain for “Titian: Love, Desire, Death” (National Gallery, London, 2020).
Since 2020, she has been the Editor of the Italian Art Society's Newsletter, so far producing four issues and a special issue on women in Italian art across the ages. A further special issue on global art history is forthcoming in June 2022.
This year (2022) she is 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.
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, which she completed in 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.
- Late medieval and early modern art and architecture, especially in Italy and the Netherlands
- Representations of architecture in the arts of Europe and Asia
- 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
- Craftsmanship and the emergence of the architectural profession
Teaching and supervision
- Setting the Scene: Architecture and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Italy
Painting Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy: Innovation and Persuasion at the Intersection of Artistic and Architectural Practice (forthcoming with Brepols)
Articles and Book Chapters
- Architectural Histories Special Collection: Intersecting Practices: Architecture and the Visual Arts in Early Modern Europe, 2 Vols. (co-edited with Krista De Jonge, vol. I forthcoming late 2022 or early 2023)
Including an introduction (with K. De Jonge) and article “Brick and Mortar, Paint and Metal. Reassessing Craftsmanship in Renaissance Italy”
“Space, Perspective and the Representation of Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy.”In Perspectives on Early Renaissance Pictorial Space, edited by Niko Munz, Sumihiro Oki and Charley Ladee. Turnhout: Brepols (forthcoming 2023).
- “La rhétorique du lieu. Art de la mémoire et architecture dans l’Oratoire St-Georges de Padoue.” In Mnémonique et poétique. La figure et son lieu dans la peinture des Tre-QuattrocentoLink opens in a new window, edited by Anne-Laure Imbert, 167-180. Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2022.
- “Fictive Architecture and Pictorial Place: Altichiero da Zevio’s Oratory of St George in Padua (c.1379-1384).” In Place and Space in the Medieval WorldLink opens in a new window, edited by Jane Hawkes, Meg Boulton and Heidi Stoner, 137-148. New York and London: Routledge, 2018.
- “The Rhetoric of Fictive Architecture: Copia and Amplificatio in Altichiero da Zevio’s Oratory of St George, Padua.” Architectural HistoryLink opens in a new window, 60 (2017): 1-35.
- 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.
Beyond the Painter-Architect: Artists Reinventing Architecture in Renaissance Italy, Sir John Soane Museum, London, scheduled for autumn 2023
“Performing Magnificence: Artistic Practice, Architectural Invention and Persuasion in the Pellegrinaio of Santa Maria della Scala, SienaLink opens in a new window” Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (24 January 2022, 18:30-20:30, online event)
- “The Agency of Architectural Settings: Invention, Time and Place in Fra Angelico’s Nicholas V Chapel.” Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome (29 October 2019).
- “Drawing, Painting and Building Architecture. A Historical Perspective.” Andrew Phillips Studio, London (28 November 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 (16 March 2017).
Service to Profession
Newsletter Editor, Italian Art Society, 2020-2023
Convenor for the Architectural History Seminar, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGBLink opens in a new window) and Institute of Historical ResearchLink opens in a new window, University of London
- BA (York)
- MA (London)
- PhD (York)
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 23436
Faculty of Arts Building
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7EQ