Elisabeth Reissner - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Elisabeth Reissner

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Dr Elisabeth Reissner

Lecturer, Conservation and Technology
Elisabeth Reissner has a PhD in Art History, an MA in Drawing, and a Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel paintings. Her research interests and teaching reflect the confluence of these disciplines. She has combined work as a paintings’ conservator, in numerous galleries and museums, with the practice of technical art history and her own art practice. In 2006 she became the first Caroline Villers Research Fellow in Technical Art History. She focused on how the Courtauld and National Gallery (London) watercolours and oils by Paul Cézanne had been made. Since 2007 she has been a visiting lecturer for the MA Programme Curating the Art Museum at the Courtauld. She took up the post of part-time lecturer in the Conservation and Technology Department in October 2010.
Elisabeth’s doctoral thesis, Technical Study Within Art Historical Scholarship: ‘Meaning in Making’ With Particular Reference to the Works of Paul Cézanne(2015)addressed how the way that pictures are made can generate socio-historical meanings, and can also give meaningful form to how the world is perceived. It also situated technical study within the discipline of Art History. Her research draws on thinkers, within Art History and Philosophy, who have explored conceptions of the creative process, how pictures work, and the relationship between an artwork and viewer. Her teaching interests include the use of technical material within museum displays, publications and on-line resources, and the facilitation of more widespread integration of technical study within academic art history. This involves contributions to the BA Foundations programmes and the PhD research skills training programme, as well as the ‘Showcasing Art History’ public programme.

Teaching 2016-17

  • Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings
  • MA Curating the Art Museum

Research interests

  • The place of technical study within the discipline of Art History.
  • The range of ways that how an artwork has been made is meaningful.
  • Conceptions of the creative process.
  • Analysis of how depiction works.

Recent publications

Essays, articles and reviews

  • ‘Texture, Transparency and Opacity in the Writing of Art History: Approaches to Materiality in the Study of Netherlandish Painting of the Seventeenth Century’. Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung No. 26 Vol. 2 (2012): 448-461.
  • ‘Transparency of Means: ‘Drawing’ and Colour in Cézanne’s Watercolours and Oil Paintings in the Courtauld Gallery’. In The Courtauld Cézannes, edited by Stephanie Buck, 48-72. London, Courtauld Gallery in association with Paul Holberton Pub., 2008.
  • ‘Ways of Making: Practice and Innovation in Cézanne’s Paintings in the National Gallery. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol. 29 (2008): 4-30.

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