History of Art


Nicholas Babbington

PhD supervisor: Richard Taws
Working title for PhD: ‘Held to Account: British Caricature and the Financial Discourse of the Late Eighteenth Century'

My research seeks to analyse the fragments of financial discourse which have survived in the archive of British caricature. By looking at the ways in which caricature dealt with matters of finance and economics and interacted with debates from across the political and social spectrums, I hope to illuminate both the conditions in which economics developed as a modern discipline and also the role of caricature as an antagonistic agent of modernity.

My PhD is funded by the UCL History of Art Department Critical Histories of Art Studentship and supervised by Richard Taws.


  • British Baroque: Power and Illusion (Review), Object 21 (2020)


  • 2020-2021: Teaching Assistant for HART0032: Methodologies of Art History


  • 2018. London Art History Society prize for best MA dissertation for ‘Exuberant Paper and Bizarre Anatomies: Caricature in Response to the Bank Restriction Crisis of 1797’. 
  • 2017. Annabel Ricketts award for a BA Dissertation on art or architecture before c.1800 for a study on the destroyed ‘Hall of Ossian’ ceiling painted by Alexander Runciman in the early 1770s.