I am a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow in the History of Art Department at the University of Warwick. I work on late medieval and early modern art and architecture, and my research focuses on the intersection of artistic and architectural practice in Europe, especially Italy. In particular, I explore the communicative powers of structure and ornament, strategies of architectural representation, the relationship between design and craft, the emergence of the architect as a professional figure, and the production of architectural knowledge. I also work on the relationship between Western Europe and the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

My book, Painting Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy: Innovation and Persuasion at the Intersection of Artistic and Architectural Practice, is under contract with Brepols and will be published in 2024. Arguing that architecture in painting provided a unique platform for experimentation, the book contends that artists played a crucial role in the elaboration of the classical architectural heritage, redefining the status of architectural forms as a kind of cultural currency. As it explores the nexus between innovation and persuasion, the volume highlights an early form of little-discussed paragone between painting and architecture which relied on a shared understanding of architectural invention as a symbol of prestige. This approach offers a crucial insight into how architectural forms were perceived and deployed, be they two or three-dimensional, at the same time clarifying the intersection of architecture and the figural arts in the work of later, influential figures like Giuliano da Sangallo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Baldassarre Peruzzi.

I recently co-edited a special collection for journal Architectural Histories featuring my article reassessing craftsmanship and the social implications of the architectural profession in Renaissance Italy. I am also designing, curating and writing a digital exhibition for the Sir John Soane Museum in London, entitled “Beyond the Painter-Architect: Artists Reinventing Architecture in Renaissance Italy” and scheduled for November 2024. Research for this exhibition is informing an article on the architectural imagination of painters in Northern Italy. Further publication plans include two book projects. The first, entitled “Architecture, Design and Craft in Italy, c. 1300-c.1500” explores the relationship between design and craftsmanship in connection with the emergence of the architect as a professional figure. The second book, entitled “Ottoman Encounters and the Production of Architectural Knowledge in Early Modern Europe,” investigates how diverse individuals, from merchants and craftsmen to scholars, negotiated the classical architectural heritage in contested territories of the Adriatic and Asia Minor.

Service to the Profession

I work as a specialist translator of early modern Italian texts and am an active member of the US-based Italian Art Society and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. In 2017, I translated a selection of Sebastiano del Piombo’s letters to Michelangelo for the exhibition “Michelangelo & Sebastiano” (with Amanda Lillie, National Gallery, London, 2017), while in 2020 I translated letters by Titian to Philip II of Spain for “Titian: Love, Desire, Death” (National Gallery, London, 2020). I am now working on a translation from Latin for a 2024 exhibition on Parmigianino, also at the National Gallery.

Between 2020 and 2023, I served as the Editor of the Italian Art Society‘s Newsletter, producing three issues a year. Two of these were special issues: the first on women in Italian art (October 2021) and the second on the global future of Italian art history (June 2022). I am continuing my work for this society as a member of its Programs Committee (2023-2026). In addition, since 2022 I have been a convenor for the Architectural History Seminar, a series of research events organised by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research of the University of London.

Visit my website: https://livialupi.com/



PhD University of York (2016), AHRC-funded

MA Courtaud Institute of Art, London (2012)

BA University of York (2011)


Book (Brepols, forthcoming 2024)

Painting Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy: Innovation and Persuasion at the Intersection of Art and Architectural Practice


Peer-Reviewed Articles

2023 Architectural Histories Special Collection (co-edited with Krista De Jonge)

Including an introduction (with K. De Jonge) and article “Brick and Mortar, Paint and Metal. Reassessing Craftsmanship in Renaissance Florence and Beyond


2017     “The Rhetoric of Fictive Architecture: Copia and Amplificatio in Altichiero da Zevio’s Oratory of St George, Padua.” Architectural History, 60 (2017): 1-35.


Book Chapters

2023     Perspectiva and Prospectiva: Space and the Representation of Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy.” In Perspectives on Early Renaissance Pictorial Space, edited by Niko Munz, Sumihiro Oki and Charley Ladee. Turnhout: Brepols

2022    “La rhétorique du lieu. Art de la mémoire et architecture dans l’Oratoire St-Georges de Padoue.” In La figure et son lieu dans la peinture des Trecento-Quattrocento. Mnémonique et poétique, edited by Anne-Laure Imbert, 167-180. Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne.

2018    “Fictive Architecture and Pictorial Place: Altichiero da Zevio’s Oratory of St George in Padua (c.1379-1384).” In Place and Space in the Medieval World, edited by Jane Hawkes, Meg Boulton and Heidi Stoner, 137-148. New York and London: Routledge.


Specialist Translations

2023  ‘De architectura sacrae aedis Castelleonis.’ Francesco Pizolpasso’s Letter to Cardinal Juan Cervantes on the architecture of Castiglione Olona, 1432 (with Iván Parga Ornelas; Appendix in Painting Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy)

2020  Letters by Titian and Orazio Vecellio. In Titian: Love, Desire, Death, exh. cat., 194-195 and 197-203. London: National Gallery Company and Yale University Press.

2018    Angela Sanna, “Lucio Fontana and Futurism after the Second World War,” in International Yearbook of Futurism Studies, ed. by Günter Berghaus, Domenico Pietropaolo and Beatrice Sica, 150-186. De Gruyter.

2017  (with Amanda Lillie) Sebastiano del Piombo’s Letters to Michelangelo, 1518-1531. In Michelangelo & Sebastiano, exh. cat., 225-237. London: National Gallery Company and Yale University Press.

2016    Alessandro Nogarola, La vita della Serenissima Reina Maria d’Austria, Reina d’Ungheria, non meno brievemente che veracemente da un Cavaliere di sua Corte scritta (n.p., 1553), pp. 22-24. Appendix 3 in Cordula van Wyhe, “The Fabric of Female Rule in Leone Leoni’s Statue of Mary of Hungary, c. 1549-1556.” In Cambridge and the Study of Netherlandish Art, edited by Meredith Hale, pp. 135-168. Turnhout: Brepols.


In Preparation

“Architecture According to Painters. Reinventing Structure and Ornament across Artistic and Architectural Practice in Northern Italy c.1360 – c.1570.”


Book Reviews

2019    Gerardo de Simone, Il Beato Angelico a Roma (1445-1455). Rinascita delle arti e Umanesimo cristiano nell’Urbe di Niccolò V e Leon Battista Alberti. Florence: Leo Olschki, 2018. The Burlington Magazine, 161, 614-615.

Béla Zsolt Szakács, The Visual World of the Hungarian Angevin Legendary. Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2016. Speculum, 94, n. 2, 606-608. 


Other Publications

2020    “Curatorial Perspective. Titian: Love, Desire, Death, National Gallery, London, 16 March – 14 June 2020. An interview with Matthias Wivel, Curator of Sixteenth-Century Italian Painting.” Italian Art Society Newsletter, Spring. 

2019    “Rhetorical Structures: Architectural Settings in Early Renaissance Italian Painting.” Leverhulme Trust 2018 Annual Review, 50-51.

2017    Exhibition Review: “Giovanni da Rimini: a 14th-Century Masterpiece Unveiled, National Gallery, London, 14 June – 8 October 2017. Italian Art Society Newsletter, Summer.


Blog Posts




    Beyond the Painter-Architect: Artists Reinventing Architecture in Renaissance Italy 

    What defines an architectural drawing? What kinds of architectural imagery have been created throughout history and for what purposes? Exploring the intersection of architectural and artistic practice in Renaissance Italy, this exhibition problematises the historiographical distinction between architectural settings for a narrative on one side and project or study drawings on the other, arguing for a more integrated understanding of architectural innovation across a variety of media and representational techniques. Before the Painter-Architect takes as its starting point the Soane’s North Italian Album, whose designs elude categorisation either as narrative settings or as canonical architectural drawings. By highlighting the architectural imagination of artists and investigating the extent to which they informed architectural practice, this exhibition re-contextualises the North Italian Album, suggesting that its drawings are a representative example of contemporary architectural culture rather than a puzzling exception. Tracing innovative representations of structure and ornament from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth century, the show deploys the digital format to display the album’s drawings for the first time alongside frescoes, mosaics and panel paintings, as well as other drawings, proposing that figures like Raphael and Michelangelo, often defined as “painter-architects” are a much broader, earlier phenomenon than previously envisaged.




    Design and Craft. A Journal of Art and Architectural History


    ‘To the Lord Michelangelo, Most Worthy Sculptor.’ A Translation and Critical Edition of Sebastiano del Piombo’s Letters to Michelangelo.



    2014 –2018 Exploring Fourteenth-Century Art Across the Eastern and Western Christian World (with Maria Alessia Rossi, Index of Christian Art, Princeton University)

    The project explores links between Catholic and Orthodox art during the fourteenth century, re-examining traditional views of both Eastern and Western Christian art and investigating their artistic interchange.


    2018    Artistic Encounters: Italy and the Byzantine Empire, 1261-1459, Summer School, Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

    2017    Lecture by Donal Cooper (University of Cambridge), “Breaking with Byzantium: Franciscan Artistic Patronage and Piety and Patronage in Central Italy at the Dawn of the Trecento,” University of York (27 Feb)

    2016    Lecture by Elena Papastavrou (Ephorate of Antiquities, Pieria, Hellenic Ministry of Culture), “The Virgin Singing the Magnificat, the Virgin Carrying the Divine Word: Symbolism and Signs between Byzantine and Western Art,” Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2 Nov)

    Panels Exploring the Fourteenth Century Across the Eastern and Western Christian World, I, II, III, International Medieval Congress, Leeds (4-7 July)

    2015    A Severed Bond? Exploring Fourteenth-Century Art Across the Eastern and Western Christian World, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London (15 May)


    Upcoming Talks and Conferences


    Intersecting Practices: Architecture and the Figurative Arts in Early Modern Italy

    January-February 2025


    Association for Art History (since 2010)

    Italian Art Society (since 2016; currently serving as the Editor of the society’s Newsletter)

    Renaissance Society of America (since 2016)

    Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (since 2019; currently serving as convenor for the Architectural History Seminar)


    Livia Lupi

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