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Staff profiles

Dr Jamie Edwards

Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture

I am a historian of Western European art and visual culture, c.1400-1650, with particular interests in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Netherlandish painting and the interrelationships between art and social, political and religious upheaval. I also teach on Italian Renaissance art and urban cultures. 


Research interests

My work focusses on Netherlandish art, c. 1400-1650, with particular focus on Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1526/30-69) and his dynasty. I'm working on a book that investigates how Bruegel and his predecessors responded to social and religious upheaval in their art in the decades leading up to the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).  Aspects of this research are published elsewhere. Recent research and outputs focus on peasants and proverbs in Netherlandish art (the subject of an exhibition, and accompanying book, opening October 2022), as well as early modern affect and affective responses to Early Modern Netherlandish arts. 

Key issues and themes that interest me are:

- Early Modern art writing and the correspondence between art theory and artistic practice;

- sixteenth-century rhetoric and rhetorical manuals/textbooks, principally the literary and educational writings of Desiderius Erasmus, and how these affected artistic production; 

- text-image relations and visual exegesis;

- Early Modern affect and affective response to works of art;

- Reformations and Counter-Reformations theologies and disputes and artistic responses/interventions;

- Early Modern pragmatism and tolerance, and especially how and to what extent artists' works intersected with trends in urbane spirituality in the sixteenth-century Netherlandish cities that are marked by a tendency towards dissemblance, dissumlation and evangelism in the context of increasingly proselytising and deadly confessional disputes.


Research collaborations

I am currently collaborating with The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, on a Brueghel exhibition opening October 2022. As part of this project, I am also collaborating with colleagues at the Koninklijk Intituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium | Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique (KIK-IRPA, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage) based in Brussels.

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