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Department of History of Art



Dr Lydia Hamlett is Academic Director in History of Art, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge, working on mural painting in Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Lydia was previously a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department. Before that she was Programme Curator for the University of Cambridge Museums, during which time she was a co-curator of Discoveries: Art, Science and Exploration from the University of Cambridge Museums (Two Temple Place and The Fitzwilliam Museum, 2014). She was a Post-doctoral Research Assistant on Court, Country, City: British Art 1660-1735 (Arts and Humanities Research Council), based at the University of York and Tate Britain, where she curated displays including Sketches for Spaces: History Painting and Architecture 1630–1730 (2013-14) Before this, she was part of the research team on The Art of the Sublime (Arts and Humanities Research Council), working on the period 1650-1750 Lydia was Assistant Curator of Pictures & Sculpture at the National Trust, 2008-2009, and she also worked at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge where she was Assistant Curator on two exhibitions, From Reason to Revolution: Art and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2008) and Paul Mellon: A Cambridge Tribute (2008). She has supervised undergraduates at the University of Cambridge since 2003.

Lydia co-leads the British Art Network Sub Group on British Mural Painting, 1600–1750 (



Key publications: 


Murals in Britain: Experiencing Histories 1630-1730 (Routledge 2019)

Articles, chapters and reviews:

‘Mural Painting and Spectatorship in Early Eighteenth-Century Britain’, in R. Huebert and D. McNeil (eds), Early Modern Spectatorship: Essays in the Interpretation of English Culture 1500-1780 (McGill-Queen’s 2018)

‘A sketch for the Petworth House staircase identified: new light on the oeuvre and patronage of Louis Laguerre’, The Burlington Magazine (December 2016)

‘Rupture through Realism: Sarah Churchill and Louis Laguerre’s Murals at Marlborough House’, in M. Hallett, M. Myrone and N. Llewellyn (eds), Court, Country, City: British Art and Architecture, 1660-1735 (Yale Center for British Art, 2016)

‘Sure Gate of Heaven: the Sacristy of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari’, in D. Howard and C. Corsato (eds), Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Immagini di Devozione, Spazi della Fede (Centro Studi Antoniani 2015)

‘The Image of Venice: Fialetti’s View and Sir Henry Wotton’, The Burlington Magazine (November 2015)

‘The twin sacristy arrangement in Palladio’s Venice: origins and adaptations’, in N. Avcioglu and E. Jones (eds), Architecture, Art and Identity in Venice and its Territories (Ashgate 2013)

 ‘Longinus and the Baroque Sublime in Britain’, in N. Llewellyn and C. Riding (eds), The Art of the Sublime (Tate Research website, 2013)

‘The Longinian Sublime, Effect and Affect in “Baroque” British Visual Culture’, in C. van Eck et al. (eds), Translations of the Sublime: the early modern reception and dissemination of Longinus' Peri Hupsous in rhetoric, the visual arts, architecture and the theatre (Brill 2012)

‘The Sacristy of San Marco, Venice: Form and Function Illuminated’, Art History, 32:3 (June 2009)


Academic Director in History of Art, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge
Fellow and Director of Studies in History of Art at Murray Edwards College
Dr Lydia  Hamlett