Early Modern Art

The last few decades have seen a radical revision of the concepts of Renaissance and Baroque. The study of these periods in art history now addresses interaction with non-European lands, the economics of art production, and the continuing vitality of older artistic traditions. With five faculty members dedicated to the study of early modern art and architecture (ca. 1400–1700), the University of Toronto’s Department of Art History has unparalleled depth in these fields. The concerns of the faculty are spread unusually widely across media; we offer specialized training in the art and architecture of Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and England in the early modern era, while the scope of our courses extends from Spain to Latin America. Graduates of our program in early modern art history include Alina Payne and Maria Loh; former students are now teaching at such distinguished universities as Harvard University, University College London, Indiana University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Victoria.

The University of Toronto boasts a vibrant culture of early modern research. The interdisciplinary Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS) acts as a gathering point for students and faculty in art history, literature, history, philosophy, and musicology. The Centre offers a rich program of lectures, workshops, and international conferences; its library houses an important collection of sixteenth-century editions and current publications on early modern topics. Several internships are available at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), which has particularly rich holdings in early modern objects with its recent acquisition of the Thomson Collection dedicated to artworks of small scale.


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