History of Art


Alice Marinelli

PhD supervisor: Professor Rose Marie San Juan
Working title for PhD: Painting Beyond: Encounters between New Testament and Genre Subjects in Early Modern Roman ‘Galleria’ Paintings

My research examines the uneasy relation between previously distinctive types of painting, in particular New Testament and Genre subjects, surprisingly brought together within the same representation in seventeenth-century paintings for Roman picture galleries. Such intersections, I argue, were made possible by the new space of the Galleria itself, where religious art was collected primarily for purposes of intertextuality.

This space offered unparalleled opportunities to the young artists that, arriving in Rome from all over Europe at the turn of the century, set out to navigate an expanding art market. These artists, whose pictorial languages are generally flattened out by their outworn categorization as “followers” of Caravaggio, were responsible for the creation of the complex intertextual images I research. One of the goals of my project is that of returning distinctiveness to these artists’ visual vocabularies.

The intertextual compositions discussed in this thesis also lead me to infer what challenges and opportunities they presented to the viewers and what new forms of reception they activated. The unsettled and open-ended potential of these paintings turned beholders into active participants, something that was also allowed by the increased proximity between viewers and artworks that characterized the experience of art in the picture gallery.


  • Exhibition Review: 'Cecco del Caravaggio. L’Alunno Modello,’ Accademia di Carrara, Bergamo, Jan 28 –Jun 4, 2023. ArtHist.net. Feb 23, 2023.
  • Article: "Truth and Denial: Intertextual Compositions and Visual Transformations in the ‘Caravaggisti' Gallery Paintings." Object. 2020.
  • Exhibition Review: 'Utrecht, Caravaggio and Europe,' Centraal Museum Utrecht, 16 December 2018 - 24 March 2019. Object. 2020.
  • "Pinge e Punge”: the Emergence of St. Irene in the Early Modern Galleria." Early Modern Rome Conference, Bracciano, 2021.


  • Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, UCL: Advanced Lectures in the History of Art: Rome, the Making of Early Modern Visual Urban Culture, 2020-2021.
  • Lecturer of History of Art and Architecture: Ancient to Early Modern Rome. Iowa State University, Spring and Fall 2022.
  • Guest Lecturer: Galleria Colonna. Dartmouth College Study Abroad Program, June 2022.


  • London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Research Studentship issued by AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2018.
  • Lloyd Dodd Award in Art History, John Cabot University, 2017.