Niamh Bhalla - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Niamh Bhalla

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Dr Niamh Bhalla

Associate Lecturer; Getty Connecting Art Histories Project Manager

Niamh Bhalla completed her PhD at The Courtauld Insitute of Art in 2014, entitled Social Histories of the Last Judgement in Byzantine Art. Her research focuses on using critical theory to open up fresh insights into the social agency of classical and medieval imagery. She explores themes such as space, memory, the body, gender and rhetoric in relation to the experience of visual imagery. Niamh has considerable teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is currently an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art teaching courses on the transformation of art in Late Antiquity and the body in western art of the Middle Ages. She also develops and delivers her own courses for adult education institutions in London. Niamh is the project manager for the Getty-supported research project Crossing Frontiers: Christians and Muslims and their art in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus.


  • BA2 Period Course: Decline and Fall: Art and Transformation in Late Antiquity

  • BA3 Special Option Course: Dripping Guts and Heavenly Wonders. The Body as

  • Subject and Object in Northwestern Europe (1200-1450)

  • MA Byzantium and its Rivals: annual guest lecture since 2011

Research interests

  • Greek and Roman Art
  • Byzantine Art
  • Western Medieval Art
  • Social History of Art
  • Gender and Body Theory
  • The role of memory and rhetoric in the experience of art

Recent publications


Bhalla, N. Experiencing ‘Byzantine’ Images of the Last Judgement (Forthcoming)

Chapters in books

  • Bhalla, N. “Christian Ivories: containment, manipulation and the creation of meaning”, The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art, eds. M. Ellison & R. Jensen (Routledge, 2018)

  • Chapter 16: “Ivory”, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Art and Archaeology of Late Antiquity, ed. O. Brandt, J. Magness and L. Rutgers (Forthcoming, Cambridge University Press).


  •  Bhalla, N., ‘Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs’, in The Burlington Magazine (May, 2017)
    Bhalla, N., “Mosaics of Thessaloniki: 4th-14th Century” in immediations 3:1 (20130
  • Bhalla, N., “Modern Chinese Ink Paintings” The Courtauld Review 11 (Aug 2012)
  • Bhalla, N., “Treasures of Heaven” The Courtauld Review 8 (Oct 2011)

Selected research papers

  • Picturing Heaven, Hell and Purgatory in the Later Middle Ages
    Guest lecture by invitation at the Showcasing Art History evening lecture series.
    The Courtauld Institute of Art, January 2016
  • Picturing the Last Judgement in Byzantium: Time, Space and Orchestrated Experiences of Death
    Research paper given at Experiencing Death in Byzantium
    Newcastle University, May 2015
  • Protective Letters and Prophylactic Names: The Image of the Last Judgement at Yilanli Kilise
    Research paper given at Visions of Enchantment: Occultism, Spirituality & Visual Culture
    University of Cambridge, March 2014
  • Time, Space and Embodied Experience: Imagery in the Narthex of St Herakleidios at the Monastery St John Lampadistes, Cyprus
    Research paper given at New Perspectives on Late Medieval and Renaissance Cyprus
    King’s College, London, February 2014
  • Memory, Agency and the Last Judgement in Byzantium
    Research paper given at the annual conference of the Oxford Byzantine Society: Reality and Illusion: Seeing Through the ‘Byzantine Mirage’.
    Oxford University, February 2012

Research grants

  • Steven and Elena Heinz scholarship: full funding for doctoral research Awarded by the The Courtauld Institute of Art, 2010-2014
  • Apax Partners/Martin Halusa Scholarship: full funding for MA  Awarded by the The Courtauld Institute of Art.

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