Susannah Kingwill

PhD candidate; Associate Lecturer

Thesis: The Cross – Relic, object, and symbol at the Valois Courts during the reigns of Charles V and VI of France (1360-1422)

Supervised by Prof. Susie Nash

Funded by Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-east England 

The cross is one of the most powerful and ubiquitous of all religious symbols; this thesis aims to explore its long and varied meaning and use by concentrating on one particularly resonant and materially rich context, the Courts of France around 1400. It focuses on the hundreds of crosses owned by the Valois Kings, the Princes of the Blood and their wives, a handful of which survive today. Drawing together an exceptional body of documentary and material evidence yet to be exploited to this effect, it will examine the distinct role that these complex objects occupied for a courtly audience in late medieval France.


  • 2018 – present: The Courtauld Institute of Art, PhD, supervised by Prof. Susie Nash
  • 2016-2017: The Courtauld Institute of Art, MA (Distinction): ‘Early Netherlandish Painting: Reinterpreting the object’ supervised by Dr Susan Frances Jones. Dissertation – ‘An Anonymous Triptych with the Anointing of Christ in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: a study in form, meaning and function.’
  • 2010-2014: The University of Glasgow MA Hons., History of Art (First Class Honours)

Doctoral Fellowships, Grants and Awards

Ochs Scholarship, the British Archaeological Association (2022)

HNA Doctoral Candidate Fellowship, Historians of Netherlandish Art (2022)

RSA Kress Foundation Travel Grant (2022)

Ralph Gibson Bursary, the Society for the Study of French History (2021)

Doctoral Fellowship, Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut (NIKI), Florence, (awarded 2021 undertaken in 2022 due to Covid-19)

CHASE Doctoral Training Award, awarded by the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South East England (CHASE) for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (2018-2021)

Friends of The Courtauld Scholarship, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2018-2021)

Sophie Trevelyan Thomas Courtauld Scholarship, The Courtauld Institute of Art, (2016 – 2017)

Edmond J Safra Courtauld Scholarship, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2016 – 2017)

Senior Honeyman Prize, University of Glasgow (2014)


  • Spring 2022, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Associate Lecturer, “Art at the Courts of France” (BA3)
  • Autumn 2021, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Associate Lecturer, “Case Studies in Gothic Art: Intention and Reception” (BA2)
  • Summer 2021, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant, Summer University 2021
  • Summer 2020, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant, Summer University 2020
  • Autumn 2019, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant and Teaching Assistants Coordinator, Foundations lecture series (BA1)

Conference papers

  • 30 March 2022, RSA Annual Meeting Conference, Objects of the Cult: Liturgy/Devotion and Its Instruments in Early Modern Europe, “Treasured by Kings and Princes: Small-scale Crosses at the Valois Courts, 1360–1422″, The Convention Centre Dublin.
  • 22 June 2021, Courtauld Annual Post Graduate Symposium, ‘‘la donna ma dame a mondit seigneur au jour de l’an’: Philip the Bold’s Gold Cross in Esztergom Cathedral Treasury’ (online).
  • 7 February 2020, 25th Annual Courtauld Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, Working Materials and Materials at Work in Medieval Art and Architecture, ‘Croix d’Or at the Valois Courts – material meaning and manipulation’, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Other Activities

Professional Activities

  • Research Associate, Painting Pairs Programme 2018/19, The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Research Groups

  • Co-founder and co-convenor of ‘All That Glitters: Making with Metals in the Middle Ages’, an informal research group established in January 2020.


  • Co-organiser ‘Display and Displacement in Medieval Art and Architecture’, The Courtauld’s 26th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, February 2021


  • Organiser, vitreous enamelling workshop at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation
  • Organiser, gilding workshop at The Courtauld Institute in collaboration with Sam Fogg London.

Academic Training

  • Palaeography Course at the Institute of Historical Research with Dr. Jenny Stratford, 2018-2019.
  • Participant in CHASE Material Witness workshop training programme 2018/19.

Professional affiliations

  • 2018-2021 Project board member of the Doctoral and Early Career Research Network at the Association for Art History.
  • Student member of the BAA, ICMA, HNA, RSA, SSFH and ICOM.

Research Interests

  • Metalwork
  • Inventories from the French courts c. 1360-1420
  • Valois court culture
  • Artists at the courts of France and Burgundy
  • Late medieval art in Northern Europe of all media
  • Pre 1420 Northern European panel paintings
  • Depictions of the Passion of Christ
  • Technical art history
  • Materials, their meaning and manipulation