Paul Hills - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Paul Hills

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Paul Hills

Professor Emeritus

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Paul Hills is well known for his publications on light, colour and veils in Italian Renaissance art, as well as on the poet and painter David Jones (1895-1974). After studying at Cambridge, he took an MA and a PhD at The Courtauld. As lecturer at Warwick University, from 1976 to 1998, he directed the History of Art programme in Venice. In 1981 he curated the retrospective exhibition of David Jones at the Tate Gallery and he has continued to write catalogue essays on Jones and on contemporary artists including Ana Maria Pacheco, Antoni Malinowski and Shirazeh Houshiary. He has been a visiting professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York; The Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti; and the Royal College of Art in London. He took up a professorship of Renaissance Art at the Courtauld in 2003 and taught there until his retirement in 2012. He continues to lecture and give seminars at national and international venues. His books include The Light of Early Italian Painting (Yale, 1987), Venetian Colour: Marble, Mosaic, Painting and Glass, 1250-1550 (Yale, 1999), The Renaissance Image Unveiled: from Madonna to Venus (National Galleries of Scotland, 2010); The Art of David Jones: Vision and Memory (Lund Humphries), co-authored with Ariane Bankes, will appear in October 2015.

PhD students

Recently completed

  • Mary Camp, “The Portraits of Jacopo Pontormo” (with Dr Scott Nethersole)
  • Michela Pittaluga, Collections and Social Status: Venetian Presence in Genoese Collections of the Golden Century (1523-1656/7)

Research interests

  • Veils and drapery in Medieval and Renaissance Art.
  • The Clothing of Christ
  • Colour and language.
  • The art and poetry of David Jones (1895-1974)
  • Vision science and theories of perception.

Recent publications

  • ‘Titian’s fire: pyrotechnics and representations in sixteenth-century Venice’, Oxford Art Journal, 30, Issue 2, June 2007, pp. 185-204.
  • ‘Art History Reviewed XIII: Michael Baxandall’s “Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy” 1972’, in The Burlington Magazine, Vol. CLII, no. 1299, June 2011, pp. 404-08.  Reprinted in The Books that Shaped Art History, ed. R. Shone and J-P. Stonard, London 2013, pp. 150-63.
  • ‘Titian’s Flight into Egypt’, review of exhibition at the National Gallery, Burlington Magazine, CLIV, August 2012, pp. 588-9.
  • ‘Lorenzo Lotto’s Shrouds and Veils’, Artibus et Historiae, no. 68 (XXXIV), 2013, pp. 9-28.
  • Review of exhibtion of Barocci at the National Gallery, Times Literary Supplement, 19 April 2013, pp. 17-18.
  • Review of exhibition of Veronese at the National Gallery, Times Literary Supplement, 2 May 2014, pp. 17-18.

Other current/ongoing professional activities

  • Co-curating exhibition ‘David Jones: Vision and Memory’, Pallant House, Chichester, 25 October 2015 to 1 February 2016.
  • Veils and Drapery in Italian Renaissance Art: Material and Metaphor is scheduled to appear in 2016 (Yale University Press)

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