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Research at St Andrews

Elsje van Kessel


Elsje van Kessel
Postal address:
School of Art History
79 North Street
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462374

Research overview

Elsje received her Ph.D. from Leiden University and specialises in Italian Renaissance art. Currently she is preparing a book titled The Social Lives of Paintings in Sixteenth-Century Venice, in which, by integrating archival research, art historical analysis, social history and anthropology, she demonstrates how and why Venetian viewers treated certain paintings as living beings. Other research interests include portraiture, the history of display, presentation and collecting in the early modern period, the history of temporary exhibitions, and object biographies. Elsje was a fellow at the Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art in Paris, and is the author of articles in Studiolo and Art History. With Caroline van Eck and Joris van Gastel, she edited The Secret Lives of Artworks (2014).

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