Philip Sohm

University Professor


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Early modern Italian art and architecture


My past research covers a range of topics: social history and architectural design; the language of art theory and criticism; psycho-biographies of artists; non-verbal communication in painting; the biological and psychological conditions of artistic creativity and production; and the economic preconditions of making and marketing paintings. I am currently working on painters’ palettes and painting as performance.

Selected Publications

  • “Giving Vasari the Giorgio Treatment,” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, vol. 18, 2015, pp. 61–111.
  • Painting for Profit. The Economic Lives of Seventeenth-century Italian Painters, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010; co-author: Richard Spear.
  • The Artist Grows Old. The Aging of Art and Artists in Italy, 1500-1800, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007.
  • Style in the Art Theory of Early Modern Italy, New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2001.
  • Pittoresco. Marco Boschini, His Critics and Their Critiques of Painterly Brushwork in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Italy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.


Sohm Painting for Profit; Style in the Art of Early Modern Italy; The Artist Grows Old; Pittoresco


PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1978

Administrative Service

Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, January-June 2014