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Professor Caroline van Eck

Professor Caroline van Eck

Head of Department

Professor of Art History

Fellow of King's College

Director of Studies at King's College


Office Phone: 01223 332978

Biography:

Caroline van Eck studied art history at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, and classics and philosophy at Leiden University. In 1994 she obtained her PhD in aesthetics (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam. She has taught at the Universities of Amsterdam, Groningen and Leiden, where she was appointed Professor of Art and Architectural History in 2006. She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Warburg Institute and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art at Yale University, and a Visiting Professor in Ghent, Yale and York. In September 2016 she took up her appointment as Professor of Art History at Cambridge, and in 2017 she gave the Slade Lectures in Oxford on Piranesi's late candelabra: 'The Material Presence of Absent Antiquities: Collecting Excessive Objects and the Revival of the Past'.

Her main research interests are art and architectural history and theory of the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century; classical reception; the anthropology of art; Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Gottfried Semper and Aby Warburg.

Recent publications include Classical Rhetoric and the Arts in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Art, Agency and Living Presence. From the Animated Image to the Excessive Object (Munich and Leiden: Walter De Gruyter/Leiden University Press, 2015); 'Art Works that Refuse to Behave: Agency, Excess and Material Presence in Canova and Manet', New Literary History, 46 (2015), pp. 409-34; 'The Hôtel de Beauharnais in Paris: Egypt, Rome, and the dynamics of cultural transformation', in: K. von Stackelberg and E. Macaulay-Lewis (eds.), Housing the Romans (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016);'The Primal Scene of Architecture: Gottfried Semper and Alfred Gell on the Origins of Art, Style and Agency', Revue Germanique Internationale 26 (2017), and  Restoring Antiquity in a Globalizing World: Piranesi's Late Work and the Genesis of the Empire Style(Munich: DKV, 2019).

In 2014 she received the Prix Descartes-Huygens, awarded by the Académie des Sciences, the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres in France and the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences; in 2015 she was made a Chevalier of the Ordre National du Mérite, and in the same year she received the Grand Prix du Rayonnement de la Littérature et Culture Françaises, awarded by the Académie Française. In 2016 she received a honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel.

Together with Prof. Ulinka Rublack (Early Modern History) Van Eck convenes a graduate seminar on the German origins of global art history, which will start again in the Easter term of 2019-20. It will start with a close reading seminar of Aby Warburg's texts on the Pueblo Indians. The seminar is open to graduate students from humanities and social sciences.

Funded by the Cambridge-Paris Sciences Lettres Strategic Partnership Van Eck directs, together with Prof. Isabelle Kalinowski (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris) the program 'Entangled Histories: Archaeology, Interiors and Design 1750-1900.

 

For the academic year 2019-20 Van Eck will welcome MPhil and PhD applications on French art, architecture and interior design from 1750 to 1900, particularly in the context of the Entangled Histories Program.