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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



My project is the first exploration of Italian heroic portraits, where the sitter is depicted in the guise of a pagan god, a biblical hero, or a saint. These portraits offer an exceptional insight into the ways in which early-modern men and women fashioned their public and private image. By investigating the visual strategies of these images, I aim to shed new light on the notion of identity in early-modern Italy and to show how these 'composite bodies' responded to social, political, and cultural changes.

I took a BA cum laude in History of Art from the University of Pavia (2012), and later an MA with Distinction in Cultural and Intellectual History 1300-1650 from the Warburg Institute in London, where I produced a dissertation on Lilio Gregorio Giraldi's Syntagma de Musis (1507, 1511, 1539).

 In parallel with my academic studies, I have cultivated a more direct knowledge of art thanks to some work experiences at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Dulwich Picture Gallery and in the Old Master Paintings Department at Sotheby’s London. I was also an intern at Bernard Quaritch Antiquarian Bookdealer, in the department of Continental Books.

Other academic interests

Classical Mythology and Mythographic Manuals
Art Historiography
Art and Musical Theory
Renaissance Courtly Culture
The Role of Women in the 16th and 17th Century
Renaissance Fashion
Early modern Theatre and Masques

Department: History of Art
Supervisor: Dr Alexander J. Marr
College: Pembroke
AHRC Subject Area: History of Art/Humanities
Title of Thesis: Italian Heroic Portraits in the Sixteenth Century
 Ilaria  Bernocchi