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Dr Lucy Whelan MSt, DPhil

Dr Lucy Whelan, MSt, DPhil

Graham Robertson Research Fellow, Downing College


I am the Graham Robertson Research Fellow at Downing College. Before coming to Cambridge, I completed my doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2018, and then held a two-year Hanseatic Scholarship from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation at the Humboldt University in Berlin. 

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in modern and contemporary art history, visual theory, and approaches to art. More particularly, my research centres on modern art in France and Germany. I am interested in seeing the art of this period as a form of knowledge or enquiry, particularly as it connects to questions of visual perception, time, landscape, and the relation between nature and culture. I have related interests in strategies for close looking, phenomenological approaches to art, processes of making, and continental philosophy before 1960.

My first book, Pierre Bonnard Beyond Vision, is forthcoming with Yale University Press, and presents a revised understanding of Pierre Bonnard’s practice as a painter, draughtsman, and photographer. I am currently working on a new project that examines the art of France and Germany at the end of the Second World War from an ecological perspective. I am also embarking on smaller projects relating to the process of looking at art, and on artist statements.

Key Publications

Pierre Bonnard Beyond Vision (New Haven: Yale University Press, forthcoming 2022).

‘Painting the Present after Impressionism: Pierre Bonnard and Time’s Continuous Duration’, forthcoming in Time on a Human Scale: Experiencing the Present in Europe, 1860-1930, ed. Julian Wright (Proceedings of the British Academy, Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2021).

‘New Light on Pierre Bonnard’s Wife and Model Marthe’, The Burlington Magazine 162, no. 1406 (May 2020): 412-19.