Austėja Mackelaitė

PhD student

Thesis: Encounters in the Eternal City: Netherlandish Drawings after Ancient Sculpture in Rome, 1522-1617

Supervised by Joanna Woodall

Funded by

  • CHASE AHRC Doctoral Scholarship
  • Rome Scholarship at the British School at Rome (residential, Oct 2014 – July 2015)
  • The Courtauld Annual Fund Scholarship (2013-2014)
  • The Lucia V. Halpern Scholarship (2013-2014)

My PhD research investigates the importance of ancient sculpture to Netherlandish artists who travelled to Rome during the sixteenth century. With the discovery of the Laocoön in 1506, Rome became the school of the world, and its fame quickly transcended national boundaries. From Jan van Scorel (1495-1562) to Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617), artists from the Low Countries journeyed to the Eternal City with the explicit goal of studying Classical art and used drawing as a way of recording their daily encounters. My research analyses these surviving sketches as instances of the Northern artists’ evolving attitudes towards Antiquity, and situates them within the broader historical context of the rediscovery of ancient art both North and South of the Alps.


  • 2013-current: Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, PhD candidate, supervised by Professor Joanna Woodall
  • 2010-2011: St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, MSt History of Art and Visual Culture (Special Option: Women, Art and Culture in Early Modern Europe). MSt thesis: Landscape, Language and Line in Early Modern Holland: The Case of Hendrick Goltzius (Distinction)
  • 2007-2010: Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, BA (Hons) History of Art (1st Class)

Research interests

  • Reception of antiquity in the sixteenth century
  • Artistic travel and migration
  • The medium of drawing in Early Modern Netherlands
  • The writings of Karel van Mander

Other academic activity

  • Co-organizer of the Sixth Early Modern Symposium The Intelligent Hand, 1500-1800 at the Courtauld Institute of Art (November 8, 2014)
  • Prints and Drawings Study Room Assistant, Courtauld Gallery, London (Oct 2013 – Present)
  • Section Assistant for the Early Modern Section, Courtauld Institute of Art, London (October 2013 – September 2014)
  • Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation Curatorial Intern at the Departments of Old Master Drawings and Old Master Prints, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (Sept 2012 – Aug 2013)
  • Michael Bromberg Fellow at the Prints and Drawings Department of the British Museum, London (Sept 2011 – Dec 2011)