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Professor Catherine King

Profile summary

Professional biography

Catherine King is a founder member of the Arts Faculty, having joined the university at its inception in 1969.

Research interests

Professor King is principally interested in the field of Italian and Netherlandish Renaissance art history, but has recently developed some expertise in the area of a critique of the concept of ‘non-western’ art. This latter interest resulted in her teaching text for A216 Views of Difference: Different Views of Art (1999).

A main area of interest relates to the study of the way artists came to represent themselves and their profession. This has resulted in a series of research papers on the topic of ‘Images of Artists and Images of Art c 1300 – 1600’. She has also published a book length study concerning some aspects of this research area as it relates to the sixteenth century: Representing Renaissance Art c 1500-c1600, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2007.

Selected Publications


Representing Renaissance Art c 1500-c 1600, Manchester University Press, 2007, 345, 108 illustrations

Her interest in studying the origins of concepts of ‘non-western art’ and successive critical approaches to these concepts has been developed in a collection of chapters by different authors, including some which she has written, edited by her with the title:
Views of Difference: Different Views of Art, (Yale University Press in association with the Open University, 1999)

Another area of interest lies in the study of the commissioning powers of women in buying art in Italy c 1300 - c 1600: a topic on which she has produced a book and several articles.

Renaissance Women Patrons: Wives and Widows in Italy c 1300-1550, (Manchester University Press, 1998)
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‘An etching and Lelio Orsi’s House,’ Print Quarterly, 23, 2006, 176-82

‘Artists’ houses: mass advertising artistic status and theory in Antwerp, c 1565’, in Michéle Caroline Heck (ed.), Théorie des arts et creation artistique dans l’Europe du Nord du XVI e au début di XVIIIe siècle, (Lille, 2002), 178-89

‘Italian self-portraits and the Rewards of Virtue’, in Gunther Schweikhart (ed.), Autobiographie und Selbst Portrait in der Renaissance, (University of Bonn, Cologne, 1998) (Conference on biography and portraiture), 69-91

‘Looking a sight: sixteenth-century portraits of women artists in Western Europe’, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, 58:3, 1995, 381-406

‘Narrative in the representation of the Four Crowned Martyrs: Or San Michele and the Doge’s palace’, Arte Christiana: an international review of Art History and the Liturgical Arts, 79, 1991, 81-9

‘Filarete’s portrait signature on the bronze doors of St. Peters and the dance of Bathykles and his assistants’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 63, 1990, 296-99

‘Artes Liberales and the mural decoration on the house of Frans Floris, Antwerp, c. 1565’, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, 52, 1989, 239-56

‘Late sixteenth-century careers’ advice: a new allegory of artists’ training - Albertina, Inv. No. 2760’, Wiener Jahrbuch fur Kunstgeschichte, 41, 1989, 77-96

‘NG 3902 and the theme of Luke the Evanglist as artist and doctor’, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, 48, 1985, 249-55

On female patrons:

‘Architecture, gender and politics: the Villa Imperiale at Pesaro’, Art History, 29, 2006, 796-826

‘Margareta Pellegrini and the Pellegrini chapel at San Bernardino, Verona by Michele Sanmichele 1529-57’, Renaissance Studies, 10, 1996, 171-89

‘Medieval and Renaissance Matrons, Italian-style’, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, 61, 1992, 372-93

‘The dowry farms of Niccolosa Serragli and the altarpiece of the Assumption in the National Gallery (1126) ascribed to Francesco Botticini’, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, 50, 1987, 275-8

A further area of interest is in the field of secular and religious iconography in Renaissance Italy, exemplified by three articles:

‘Proof of love of proving a will? The historical context of the love poems, written by Pierre Sala, B.L. MS. Stowe 955’, Gazette des Beaux Arts, November 1988, 173-84

‘Mnemosyne and Calliope in the "Chapel of the Muses", San Francesco, Rimini, c. 1455,’ Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 51, 1988, 186-7

‘The liturgical and commemorative allusions in Raphael’s "Transfiguration and Failure to Heal"’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 45, 1982, 148-59

Teaching interests

Catherine King  helped to create the first foundation course in Arts - A100 - and then went on to contribute teaching material to courses on Roman Imperial and several courses on Late Medieval and Renaissance art as well as to chair two courses: (1979) A352 Art in Italy 1480-1580 and (1992) U207 Issues in Womens’ Studies.


The Special Value of Precarious Patrons: Lucrezia Agliardi and the Tradition of Italian Laywomen Church Builders (2019-03)
King, Catherine
Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 13(2)

Architecture, gender and politics: the Villa Imperiale at Pesaro (2006-11)
King, Catherine
Art History, 29(5) (pp. 796-826)

An etching and Lelio Orsi's house (2006-06)
King, Catherine
The Print Quarterly, 23(2) (pp. 176-182)

Representing Renaissance Art 1500-1600 (2007-11-30)
King, Catherine E.
ISBN : 9780719075568 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK

Artists' houses: mass advertising artistic status and theory in Antwerp c. 1565 (2002)
King, Catherine
In: Heck, Michèle-Caroline; Lemerle, Frédérique and Pauwels, Yves eds. Théorie des arts et création artistique dans l'Europe du Nord du XVIe au début du XVIIIe siècle (pp. 173-189)
ISBN : 2844670350 | Publisher : Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3 | Published : Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

Introduction (1999)
Perry, Gill and King, Catherine
In: King, Catherine ed. Views of Difference: Different Views of Art. Art and its Histories (5) (pp. 7-22)
ISBN : 300077645 | Publisher : Yale University Press | Published : New