Kathleen Wren Christian

(PhD, Harvard University) Assistant Professor, Italian Renaissance art

Room 118C,  Frick Fine Arts Building

Phone: 412-648-2407

E-mail: kwc5@pitt.edu

Kathleen Christian specializes in Italian Renaissance art history. She completed her PhD with John Shearman on the topic of antiquities collections in Renaissance Rome, holding dissertation fellowships from the Fulbright Program and the Warburg Institute. While finishing her dissertation she served as a curatorial graduate intern at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in the department of Italian paintings. She has since held a post-doctoral fellowship in garden and landscape studies from Dumbarton Oaks, and a nonresidential postdoctoral fellowship from the Getty Research Institute. Currently, she is completing a book on collections of antiquities in Rome and preparing articles on Italian gardens. At Pitt she has taught the graduate methodology seminar and a lecture course on Italian Renaissance portraiture.

Selected publications:

“Pietas and Instauratio: The Della Valle Collections of Ancient Sculpture,” Studies in the History of Art. Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts Symposium Papers, Collecting Sculpture in Early Modern Europe, ed. Eike Schmidt (New Haven and London: Yale University Press), in press.

“Poetry and ‘Spirited’ Ancient Sculpture in Renaissance Rome: Pomponio Leto’s Academy to the Sixteenth-Century Sculpture Garden,” Aeolian Winds and the Spirit of Renaissance Architecture, ed. Barbara Kenda (London: Taylor and Francis), in press.

“Michelangelo’s Bacchus and ‘Forged’ Ancient Sculpture in Renaissance Collections,” in The Proceedings of the XVIth International Congress of Classical Archaeology, ed. Carol Mattusch and Alice Donohue (Oxbow Books), in press.

“Raphael’s 'Philemon' and the Collecting of Antiquities in Rome,” The Burlington Magazine 146 (2004) (Raphael issue), 760–63.

“The Della Valle Statue Court Rediscovered,” The Burlington Magazine 145 (2003), 847–50.

“The De’ Rossi Collection of Ancient Sculpture, Leo X, and Raphael,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 65 (2002), 132–200.

“From Ancestral Cults to Art: The Santacroce Collection of Antiquities,” in Senso delle rovine e riusi dell’Antico, ed. Salvatore Settis, Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Serie IV, Quaderni 14, Classe di Lettere e Filosofia (2002), 255–72.

“Petrarch’s Triumph of Chastity in Leonardo’s Lady with an Ermine,” in Coming About... A Festschrift for John Shearman, ed. Lars Jones and Louisa Matthew (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Art Museums, 2001), 33–40.


Grants and Fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, Warburg Institute, Fulbright Foundation, Kress Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks, and National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Current projects:

Christian is working on a book about collections of ancient sculpture in Rome before the Sack of 1527.