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Dr Alexander Marr BA MSt DPhil FRHistS FSA

Dr Alexander Marr, BA MSt DPhil FRHistS FSA

Reader in the History of Early Modern Art

Director of Graduate Studies

Fellow of Trinity Hall

Director of Studies at Trinity Hall

Research Interests

Alexander Marr is Reader in the History of Early Modern Art at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall.  He specializes in European art and architecture 1450-1750, particularly their intellectual and scientific aspects.

He is the Director of the ERC-funded research project Genius before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art & Science, hosted by CRASSH. 

With Prof. Sachiko Kusukawa (PI) and Dr Felicity Henderson he is a Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded research project Making Visible: The Visual and Graphic Practices of the Early Royal Society.

With Dr Pablo Schneider and Dr Christopher Heuer he is the Co-Director of the project Epistemic Images in Early Modern Germany.  Funded by the DAAD-Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies in partnership with the Humboldt University and the Clark Art Institute, this three-year project will host a series of workshops in Cambridge, Wolfenbüttel and Williamstown 2016-18.

Current research:

   Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe.

   Artistic freedom in theory and practice.


   Epistemic aesthetics, especially in the Dürer circle.

   Holbein and visual wit.

   Simon Vouet, especially his portrait drawings.

   English visual culture, ca. 1525-ca. 1625, including criticism.

   Art and science in Restoration England, especially in relation to the Royal Society.

   Richard Haydocke's translation of Lomazzo.

Selected Recent and Forthcoming Publications:

   The Places of Early Modern Criticism, edited with G. Alexander and E. Gilby (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

   Rubens’ Spirit: Art & Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe (under contract, Reaktion Books)

   Logodaedalus: Word Histories of Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe, with R. Garrod, J. R. Marcaida, R. Oosterhoff (Pittsburg University Press, forthcoming 2018/19)

   'Ingenuity in Nuremberg: Dürer and Stabius’s Instrument Prints', The Art Bulletin (forthcoming, 2018)

   'Richard Haydocke's Oneirologia: A Manuscript Treatise on Sleep and Dreams, including the ‘Arguments’ of King James I’, Erudition and the Republic of Letters 2:2 (2017)

   'Knowing Images', Renaissance Quarterly 69:3 (2016)

   'Pregnant Wit: ingegno in Renaissance England', British Art Studies 1 (2015)

   'Crowned with harmless fire: A New Look at Descartes', The Times Literary Supplement (March 11, 2015)

   'Walther Ryff, Plagiarism and Imitation in Sixteenth-Century Germany', Print Quarterly 31:2 (2014)

Graduate Students:

Dr Marr welcomes applications from prospective MPhil and PhD students whose intended research relates to his current work.  He supervises students who work on Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Recent and current graduate students' topics include: 'The Visual Culture of the Académie Royale des Sciences in the Age of Louis XIV'; 'Mathematics and the Craft of Thought in Early Modern England and the Low Countries'; 'Fantasia in Cinquecento Theory'; 'Early Modern Viscera as Allegory'; 'The Heroic Portrait in Early Modern Italy'; 'Liveliness in Post-Reformation England'; 'The Early Modern Heraldic Imagination'; 'Cross-dressing in Early Modern Art'.

Undergraduate Students:

Dr Marr is Director of Studies in History of Art at Trinity Hall.  Prospective undergraduates may consult the college's website for further details.

Key Publications