Satish Padiyar

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Satish Padiyar

Senior Lecturer in 19th-century European Art
A photograph of Satish Padiyar

Satish Padiyar was educated at University College London, where he gained his PhD (1999), working with Helen Weston and Adrian Rifkin. He taught at the University of Leeds and at University College London, and was the recipient of a J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship, before joining The Courtauld as Visiting Lecturer in 2005. He worked as chief curator on The Triumph of Eros: Art and Seduction in 18th Century France, at the Hermitage Rooms, London, in 2006. He was appointed Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century European Art in 2008.

Recent areas of work include the history of sculpture, European neoclassical painting, the relation between art and philosophy, and critical theoretical approaches to the history of art. An interest in rethinking European neoclassical painting and sculpture with queer, feminist, psychoanalytic and Marxist theory culminated in his book Chains. David, Canova, and the Fall of the Public Hero in Postrevolutionary France (2007), reviewed in The Burlington Magazine, Art History, Oxford Art Journal, and The Journal of Modern History. The book offers a fresh account of European Neoclassicisms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, by attending to questions about the male body, notions of self, Kantian aesthetics, and sexuality. He is currently researching and preparing a book on the senses of freedom, or ‘free agency’, in European modern art, from Fragonard to Twombly, c. 1750 – 1960, which will include chapters on the art of David, Courbet, Cézanne and Picasso. He is writing a commissioned monograph on Jean-Honoré Fragonard, for completion in 2016.



On research leave 2015-16.

PhD students


  • Samuel Raybone, ‘Gustave Caillebotte And The Status Of The Working Man’s Body In The Visual And Political Culture Of The Third Republic’

Recently completed

  • Julia Thoma, The Final Spectacle: Military Painting under the Second Empire, 1855-1867 (with Prof. John House)

Forthcoming publications


  • Monograph on Jean-Honoré Fragonard for completion in 2016

Recent publications

Books and Online Books

  • modernist-gamesModernist Games. Cézanne and His Card Players, Courtauld Online Books, 2013
  • 51SwGnZWWKL._SX472_BO1,204,203,200_Chains. David, Canova, and the Fall of the Public Hero in Postrevolutionary France, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007.
  • eros Satish PadiyarThe Triumph of Eros. Art and Seduction in 18th-Century France, exhibition catalogue, with Dimitri Ozerkof, Fontanka, 2006.

Essays, articles and reviews

  • Building a World Between Men (or Cézanne with Arendt)’, in Satish Padiyar, ed., Modernist Games. Cézanne and His Card Players, 2013
  • ‘Last Words: David’s Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Graces (1824). Subjectivity, Death, and Postrevolutionary Late Style’, RIHA Journal, 2011
  • ‘Notes on Writing as Vertigo’, Art History, 34/ 2, April, 2011, reprinted in Catherine Grant and Patricia Rubin, eds., Creative Writing and Art History, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
  • ‘Les Lettres de Madame Récamier à Canova (1813-1819): une écriture féminine entre grâce et exil’, in Les Voix des Femmes dans le Discours sur l’Art (1750-1850), Les Presses du Réel, Paris, 2010.
  • ‘Who is Socrates? Desire and Subversion in David’s Death of Socrates (1787)’, Representations, 102, 2008.
  • ‘Shadow of Agency: Derrida, Marx, David’, in Matthew Beaumont, (eds.), As Radical as Reality Itself: Essays on Marxism and Art for the 21st Century, Peter Lang, 2007
  • ‘Dispossessed. On “Late” David’, in Mark Ledbury, ed., David after David. Essays on the Later Work, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and Yale University Press, 2007.
  • ‘Menacing Cupid in the Art of Rococo’, in The Triumph of Eros. Art and Seduction in 18th-Century France, 2006
  • ‘Sade/ David’, Art History, 23, 2000

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