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Department of History of Art



Georgios Markou read Archaeology and History of Art at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, before going to the University of Warwick, where he took an MA on “Venice and Its Legacies”. In 2018, he obtained his PhD at Jesus College, Cambridge, and subsequently held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University (2018-19) and at the British School at Rome (2019-2020). He returned to Cambridge in Autumn 2021 as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. His research focuses on the art of Renaissance Venice and on cultural networks of exchange in the Eastern Mediterranean.


Focusing on the example of Venetian Cyprus and the hitherto unrecognized artistic and cultural patronage of the island’s elite families, Markou’s project at Princeton University and the British School at Rome built on his PhD thesis to challenge previous assumptions of a culturally and confessionally rigid Greek Orthodox community. Through the integration of textual and material evidence, his first book-length study offers new insights to refine concepts of fluid identity, where individuals projected cultural characteristics that were traditionally thought of as oppositional.


At the British School, Markou also completed a major reappraisal of Giorgione’s Castelfranco Altarpiece (building on initial work on the painting’s Cypriot patron). This article will present extensive unpublished archival documentation clarifying this iconic painting’s date and display, as well as Giorgione’s elusive biography and the myths that swiftly enveloped it.


By examining the experiences and output of mobile artists, Markou’s Leverhulme project proposes an alternative artistic history of the Early Modern Mediterranean. Unpublished documents, printed primary sources and extant artefacts will underpin the first comprehensive overview of artists active around the Mediterranean. This will be complemented by a micro-historical approach, recovering individual artistic biographies from the archives to reveal often unexpected connections between different traditions, confessions and centres. Foregrounding the fundamental role of exiled artists as agents of artistic innovation, “Art and Exile: Biographies of displacement in the Early Modern Mediterranean” will question recent models of cultural exchange, and bring marginalized traditions and geographies into relation with major artistic centres.


His research has been supported by the American Philosophical Society, Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Francis Haskell Memorial Fund of The Burlington Magazine Foundation, Kettle’s Yard, and the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art at the University of Cambridge.



Key publications: 

“Jacopo Tintoretto, his heirs and the family enterprise”, The Burlington Magazine 163 (2021), pp. 718-723.

“An early owner of a Virgin and Child by Giovani Bellini: the testament of Hieremia Voltera”, Arte Veneta 77 (2020), pp. 228-231.

“Taddeo Zuccaro and the Pucci Chapel in Santissima Trinità dei Monti, Rome”, Source: Notes in the History of Art 39 (2020), pp. 241-251.

“The inventory of the Sadeler Venetian Printing shop”, Print Quarterly 36 (2019), pp. 379-389.

“Negotiating Identity and Status: The silverware of the Cypriot nobles in Renaissance Venice”, in M. Olympios and M. Parani eds, The art and archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus (1192-1571): Recent research and new discoveries (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), pp. 301-320.

“Bonifacio de’ Pitati’s Triumphs of Petrarch and their Cypriot Patron”, The Burlington Magazine 159 (2017), pp. 600-609.

Leverhulme Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Research Associate at Jesus College