John Renner - The Courtauld Institute of Art

John Renner

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Dr John Renner

Associate Lecturer

Contact Details

John Renner researches and teaches on Italian art of the later Middle Ages and early Renaissance. After reading History and French at Oxford, he pursued a career in international journalism and broadcasting with the BBC World Service. He took his MA in Art History at Birkbeck College, University of London. His PhD thesis for the Courtauld Institute is entitled ‘The Founder’s Image: Studies in the Representation of St Francis in Central Italian Art c.1250–c.1350’. In addition to teaching at the Courtauld he is a Visiting Lecturer at the V&A.

Teaching and lecturing

  • 2016–17: Courtauld Institute: BA Third Year course: Poverty, Piety and Propaganda: Art for the Friars in Central Italy, c.1250–1350
  • 2016– : Victoria & Albert Museum. V&A Year Course: Late Medieval to Early Renaissance 1250–1500
  • 2016: Courtauld Institute. Showcasing Art History: Image and Imagination in Late Medieval Europe, c.1200–c.1500
  • 2015–16: Courtauld Institute. BA topic courses: 1) The Medieval Body: Texts and Contexts, and 2) Early Italian Art in London Collections
  • 2015: Courtauld Institute. Summer Course: A Tale of Two Cities: Florence, Siena and the Birth of Renaissance Art
  • 2014– : Victoria & Albert Museum. V&A Year Course: Art and the City
  • 2013–14: Birkbeck College, University of London. BA course: European Art & Architecture, 1250–1400

Research interests

  • Central Italian painting, stained glass and sculpture of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance
  • The art and history of the Franciscan Order
  • Mendicant patronage of art and architecture

Conference papers

  • ‘Dating the frescoes and stained glass of the Maestro di San Francesco in Assisi: further questions and a new proposal’, Giotto’s Circle Research Group, Courtauld Institute, 2016
  • ‘The Master and St Francis: art, sanctity and the promotion of a mendicant order in thirteenth-century Italy’, Expressions of Mendicant Spirituality in Medieval Europe, Leeds International Medieval Conference, 2015
  • ‘The saint in the chariot: a Franciscan vision and its transformations’, Lille Leuven London, Courtauld Institute, 2015
  • ‘The sculpted saint: a Sienese statue of St Francis’, Art, Architecture and the Friars, Courtauld Institute, 2014
  • ‘The beautiful wounds of St. Francis: materiality and aesthetics in the portrayal of medieval sanctity’, Aesthetics and Materiality in Medieval Art, 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 2014
  • Caelorum candor splenduit: a vision of St Francis in the apse windows of Santa Croce’, Giotto’s Circle Research Group, Courtauld Institute, 2013
  • ‘Angelicus vir Franciscus: the Angel Window at Assisi’, Giotto’s Circle Research Group, Courtauld Institute, 2013
  • ‘Good and bad corpses: images of death in early Franciscan art’, Art and Death, Courtauld Institute, 2012
  • ‘How to survive a shipwreck: lessons from a Franciscan seal’, Surviving the Middle Ages: Art, Belief, and Preservation, Courtauld Institute, 2012
  • ‘St Francis of Assisi, Henk van Os, and variations on the alter Christus theme in late medieval Tuscany’, IUO, Florence, 2011
  • ‘Framing the Incarnation: the Annunciation in late medieval Tuscany’, Framing the Middle Ages: Concepts of the Frame in Medieval Art and Architecture, Courtauld Institute, 2009

Other academic activity

  • 2012-13: Co-Chair, Medieval/Renaissance Student Work-in-Progress workshops, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2012-14: Member of Postgraduate Advisory Group, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2011: Two-month residential Research Fellowship, IUO (Istituto Universitario Olandese di Storia dell’Arte) Florence, Italy


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