History of Art


Diana Dethloff (part-time)



Diana Dethloff

Diana Dethloff studied History and History of Art at Westfield College and University College, London. A specialist in seventeenth-century British art, especially portraiture of the second half of this period, her teaching also covers Elizabethan and early Stuart painting.

She has lectured and presented conference papers at the National Portrait Gallery, London; the V&A; the National Gallery; The Royal Academy; the Scottish National Portrait Gallery; The Drawing Institute, the Morgan Library, New York; the Universities of Oxford, York, Greenwich, Melbourne and Queen's University, Toronto. 

She has published on Restoration portraiture, especially the work of Peter Lely and his studio; on the development of the London art market and drawing practice in later seventeenth-century Britain.

She has contributed to a number of exhibition catalogues including Painted Ladies: Women at the Restoration Court (NPG/British Art Center, Yale, 2001); Van Dyck & Britain (Tate Britain, 2009) and Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision (The Courtauld Institute Galleries, 2012).

She is currently collaborating with Catharine MacLeod of the NPG, London on a catalogue raisonné of Lely's paintings and drawings and a forthcoming Lely exhibition.

Diana was Honorary Editor of the Walpole Society Journal of British Art (1986-1992).

She is a member of the editorial board of the 'Art World in Britain' website; a member of the Collections and Research Advisory Committee of the National Museums, Greenwich (2015-2020), and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries

Contact Details

Office: 406, 21 Gordon Square

Office hours: Tuesday 2.30 - 3.30pm 

+44 (0)20 3108 4032 (internal 54032)

Email: d.dethloff@ucl.ac.uk


Lecturer (Teaching) and Affiliate Tutor (part-time)

Dept of History of Art

Faculty of S&HS

Research Themes

17th Century British Painting and visual culture.

Art Design and Architecture


Research Summary

Diana Dethloff specialises in seventeenth-century British painting, with a particular emphasis on Restoration court portraiture. She is particularly interested in drawing practices as part of studio production and the training of artists; the relationship between painters, printers and print publishers; the changing patterns of court and City patronage during this period and the development of the London art market post 1660.

Research Activities

In 2005 she was awarded, with Carol Gibson-Wood of the University of Victoria, Canada, a British Academy/Commonwealth Universities collaborative grant for research into picture and print consumption in London 1660-1720. This resulted in a network workshop at Queen's University, Toronto (2005), an article (Gibson-Wood, Art Bulletin, 2005) and a conference paper (Dethloff, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2005). In July 2007 she was a Fellow at the Paul Mellon Center for British Art, Yale University. Her current research is working (with Catharine Macleod of the National Portrait Gallery, London) towards a full catalogue raisonne of the portraits, subject pictures and drawings of Peter Lely (1618- 1680), Principal Painter at the Court of Charles II, to be published by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art/Yale University Press. She has contributed to a number of exhibition catalogues on British art, including Van Dyck & Britain (Tate Britain, 2009) and most recently to 'Peter Lely; A Lyrical Vision' at The Courtauld Gallery, 2012. She is a member of the Editorial Board of 'The Art World in Britain' website and in September 2012 gave a joint keynote, with her colleague Charles Ford at the 'Histories of British Art' conference at York University, the final conference of the York/Tate Britain AHRC collaboration. In February 2015 she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 2017 Diana gave the keynote lecture at the National Gallery of Australia's conference on The Catalogue Raisonné and a guest lecture and research seminar at the University of Melbourne.


Selected Publications

  • ‘Lely, Drawing, and the Training of Artists’, pp. 291-312, in Court, Country, City: British Art and Architecture, 1660-1735, ed. Hallett, Llewellyn and Myrone, Studies in British Art 24, Yale Center for British Art, 2016.
  • 'Reception and Rejection: Lely's subject pictures in an "un-understanding land"', pp. 41-61 in Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision (Courtauld Gallery, London 2012).
  • 'Peter Lely as a collector of prints and drawings' in Artists' Collections of Prints and Drawings, ed Baker, Elam and Warwick, Ashgate, 2002, pp. 55-63.
  • 'Portraiture and Concepts of Beauty in Restoration Painting', in Painted Ladies: Women at the Court of Charles II (NPG, London and BAC, Yale, 2001/2), pp. 24-35.
  • 'The Executors Account Book and the Dispersal of Peter Lely's Collection' in Journal of the History of Collecting, no. 1 (1996), pp. 15-51.

Teaching & Supervision

Supervision of research students.

As 1st supervisor:

  • (awarded June 2008) S. Sullivan 'Representations of Mary of Modena, Duchess, Queen Consort and Exile: Images and Texts'.

Co-supervisor (with Maria Loh):

  • (awarded 2019) Sophie Morris ‘John Browne’s Treatise of the Muscles (1681) and the Image of Mobility in Late Seventeenth-Century London’.

As 2nd supervisor:

  • (awarded 2005) S. von der Geest 'The Portraiture and Theory of Jonathan Richardson the Elder'.
  • (awarded 2004) J. Todorovic 'The Origin and Function of Ephemeral Spectacle in the Archbishopric of Karlovci'.

PhD examining: as internal examiner for Queen Mary, University of London (2012) and as external examiner for Oxford University (2011) and the University of Sussex (2010).