I am currently working on a book project, provisionally entitled The Artificial Eye: Art Theory and Optical Revolution in Early Modern Europe. While it is well-known that the optical revolution completely changed our perception of the world, most notably thanks to the invention of the telescope and the microscope, its importance for the development of art history remains widely underestimated. This project interrogates the changes it produced in the reception of artworks as well as questions its repercussions on the early modern art theory. It allows me, more broadly, to think about the different perceptual regimes that determined the contact to art objects during a period extending from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
My research mainly focuses on the development of art historical thinking and knowledge acquisition during the early modern period. I am not only interested in the international network of actors that shaped the writing of art history through time, but also in these scholars’ workplaces and instrumentarium as well as in the objects of their enquiries and the way these things are saturated with cultural and historical significance. As such, my research is informed by a large spectrum of theoretical traditions, including anthropology, the history of science, material and visual culture studies, and sociology.