skip to primary navigationskip to content

Professor Jean Michel Massing MA, DèsL, FSA

Professor Jean Michel Massing, MA, DèsL, FSA

Professor of Art History (sabbatical leave for the academic year 2014-15)

Fellow of King's College

Director of Studies, King's College

Office Phone: 01223 332978


Professor Jean Michel Massing is a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. He was Head of Department in History of Art from from 1996 to 1998 and from 2012 to 2014. He has published widely on numerous topics, including Classical art and its influence from Antiquity to the Renaissance, astrological imagery, religious imagery (especially the Temptations of St. Anthony, from Schongauer to Bosch) and various learned iconographies, for example the Ars memorativa, the emergence of the emblem and emblematic symbolism. More recently he has been working on African art from the sixteenth- to the nineteenth-centuries, on the relationships between European and Non-European cultures from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, and on Micronesian art, with articles on the history of cartography, the representations of foreign lands and peoples. Also central to his research is the image of people of African origin in western art. He has been a major contributor to large exhibitions, such as Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration, held at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in 1991-1992, and Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th centuries, held in Washington (2007), in Brussels (2008) and in Lisbon ( 2009). He has published the following books: Du texte à l'image. La Calomnie d'Apelle et son iconographie, Strasbourg 1990; Splendours of Flanders, Late Medieval Art from Cambridge Collections (with A. Arnould), Cambridge 1993; Etudes offertes à Jean Schaub. Festschrift Jean Schaub (ed., with Jean-Paul Petit),  (Blesa, I), Metz 1993; Erasmian Wit and Proverbial Wisdom. An Illustrated Moral Compendium for François 1er (Studies of the Warburg Institute, 43), London 1995; Text and Images (Studies in Imagery, I), London 2003; The World Discovered (Studies in Imagery, 2), London 2007; From the “Age of Discovery” to the Age of Abolition: Europe and the World Beyond (The Image of the Black in Western Art, 3.2), Cambridge, Mass. 2011; Triumph, Protection & Dreams: East African Headrests in Context (with Sally-Ann Ashton), Exhibition catalogue, Cambridge, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge 2011; The Slave in European Art: From Renaissance Trophy to Abolitionist Emblem (ed., with Elizabeth McGrath), (Warburg Institute Colloquia, 20), London 2012; Marfins no Impéro Português/Ivories of the Portuguese Empire (with Gauvin Alexander Bailey and Nuno Vassallo e Silva), Lisbon 2013; King's College Chapel 1515-2015: Art, Music and Religion in Cambridge, with Nicolette Zeeman eds., London / Turnhout 2014.