skip to primary navigationskip to content

Christina Farley

Christina Farley

Department: History of Art

Supervisor: Dr Alexander Marr

College: St John’s

AHRC Subject Area: History of Art

Title of Thesis: 'Liveliness' in English visual culture, c.1500-c.1635


I graduated with a First Class BA degree in History of Art from Cambridge in 2014, staying to complete the MPhil in History of Art and Architecture with Distinction. My MPhil thesis focused on clocks, dials and watches in Tudor and Stuart visual culture, especially their symbolism in portraits. This formed the basis for my talk in the University of Cambridge’s Three Minute Thesis Competition 2015 Final, in which I was runner-up.

My PhD research explores religious imagery in Britain in the century after the Break with Rome. It considers the nuances of Protestant and Catholic attitudes towards images in domestic settings, interrogating more recent conceptions of the period as ‘iconophobic’, and using Early Modern literature on rhetoric and poesy to explore how artists made their chosen subjects vivid and memorable.

Other academic interests

My academic interests extend into Medieval and Early Modern British and European visual and material culture more broadly, especially portraiture, prints, emblem culture, domestic interiors (including furniture) and the nature of signification and self-representation. I am very interested in art theory and philosophy in general, and the pedagogy of history, heritage and the arts for people of all ages and backgrounds. I am also interested in architectural history and theory, and help to organise The Thomas Rickman Society, an architectural reading group.