Professor David Ekserdjian

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching | Supervision | Media

Professor of Art and Film History David Ekersdjian

Department: History of Art and Film

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2905 (office); +44 (0)7889 411 798 (mobile)


Office: Room 1702, Attenborough Tower

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road,Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


CorreggioI am a world-renowned authority on Italian Renaissance paintings and drawings, with particular specialities in the artists Correggio and Parmigianino, the subjects of my two Yale monographs of 1998 and 2006. I am also an expert on the history of collecting and this informs my work as an adviser to auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, international museums and galleries such as the National Gallery and Tate Britain, as well as private collectors.

Bronze sculpture is another of my areas of expertise and it formed the topic of one of the most recent of the many exhibitions that I have conceived and curated. Bronze’ at the Royal Academy (co-curated with Cecilia Treves) drew international acclaim and almost a quarter of a million visitors: my book of the exhibition was described by the Wall Street Journal as “the most beautiful book published anywhere in the world this year”, and went on to win the Association for Cultural Enterprises award for best new publication.


To follow.


2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | previous publications


  • ‘The Temple at Jerusalem in the Italian Renaissance Imagination’
    Forthcoming in the proceedings of the Courtauld Institute and Temple Church conference on the Temple at Jerusalem
  • ‘Gustav Friedrich Waagen and the Treasures of Art in Great Britain
    Forthcoming in the proceedings of the conference on German art historians of the 19
    th and 20th centuries at the Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence
  • ‘Veronese e Parmigianino’
    Forthcoming in the proceedings of the Veronese conference at the Università di Padova
  • ‘Schiavone e Parmigianino’
    Forthcoming in the proceedings of the Schiavone conference at the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice
  • ‘Bertoia e la scultura’ and ‘L’Entrata di Cristo in Gerusalemme del Bertoia’
    Forthcoming in the in the special Bertoia issue of Aurea Parma
  • ‘La pala di Genga per Cesena: commitenza e iconografia’
    Forthcoming in the proceedings of the Genga conference at the Fondazione Zeri, Bologna, and the Villa Imperiale, Pesaro
  • ‘Establishing a Norm for the High Renaissance: Raphael and the Dessemination of a Style’
    Forthcoming in the proceedings of the ‘A la recherche de la norme’ conference, University of Liège
  • ‘Vent’anni dopo: postille alla monografia di Mario Di Giampaolo (1997)’
    Forthcoming in the proceedings of the Bedoli conference, Viadana

2018Still Life Before Still Life

  • 'Research Efforts', Apollo (2018): 197-98
  • ‘The Tip of the Iceberg: Barocci’s post mortem inventory and the survival of renaissance drawings’, in J.W. Mann (ed.), Federico Barocci: Inspiration and Innovation in Early Modern Italy (Abingdon, 2018): 154-73
  • Still Life Before Still Life (Yale University Press, 2018)
  • ‘Charles I and the Northern Renaissance’ and ‘Charles I and the Italian Renaissance’, in P. Rumberg and D. Shawe-Taylor (eds.), Charles I King and Collector, exhibition catalogue (Royal Academy of Arts, 2018): 82-87; 100-105
  • 20 catalogue entries in P. Rumberg and D. Shawe-Taylor (eds.), Charles I King and Collector, exhibition catalogue (Royal Academy of Arts, 2018)


  • Exhibition Review: ‘Divine Drawings’, Apollo (2017): 84-85
  • Exhibition Review, ‘Marcantonio Raimondi – Manchester’, Burlington Magazine, vol. CLIX, no. 1366 (2017): 60-61
  • Exhibition Review: ‘Regional Riches’, Apollo (2017): 94-95
  • Review of M.V. Spissu, Il Maestro di Ozieri: Le inquietudini nordiche di un pittore nella Sardegna del Cinquecento, Burlington Magazine, vol. CLIX, no. 1374 (2017): 728
  • ‘Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and the Dramatic Close-up’, in Leonardo da Vinci: Salvator Mundi, Christie’s New York (15 November 2017): 123-37
  • ‘Michelangelo’s bronze David: its ancestry and progeny’, in M. Riccómini (ed.), Scritti per Eugenio: 27 testi per Eugenio Riccómini (2017): 30-41


  • Exhibition Review: ‘Never Mind the Buttocks’, Apollo (2016):.94-95
  • Author of principal essay (‘Correggio and Parmigianino: Art of the Sixteenth Century in Parma’, 13-36), and of 109 of 110 catalogue entries, Correggio and Parmigianino: Art of the Sixteenth Century in Parma – Correggio e Parmigianino: l’arte a Parma nel Cinquecento exhibition catalogue, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, March-June 2016 (catalogue also published in Italian)
  • Catalogue entries on drawings by Giorgio Gandini del Grano (pp.244-45, no. 100), Follower of Parmigianino (pp.254-55, no. 104), and Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (attributed to) (pp.256-57, no. 105), in P. Prange and A. Stolzenburg (eds.), Spurenlese: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle aus drei Jahrhunderten, exhibition cat.alogue, Hamburger Kunsthalle


  • Review of A. Markham Schulz, The Sculpture of Tullio Lombardo, Apollo (2015): 210-11
  • Review of M. Lucco, Mantegna, Burlington Magazine, vol. CLVII, no. 1344 (2015): 194-95
  • Review of A. Buccheri, The Spectacle of Clouds, 1439-1650: Italian Art and Theatre, Burlington Magazine, vol. CLVII, no. 1348 (2015): 482-83
  • Exhibition Review: ‘Continental Drift’, Apollo (2015): 100
  • ‘A Portrait of a Lady by Bartolomeo Veneto’, Arte Veneta, vol. LXXII (2015): 184
  • Spigolature intorno al Catalogo generale dei dipinti e delle miniature delle collezioni civiche veronesi (2010)’, Verona Illustrata (2015): 35-39
  • ‘Sculptors as Borrowers: Gianfrancesco Susini, Massimiliano Soldani Benzi, and Others’, in C.H. Miner (ed.), The Eternal Baroque: Studies in Honour of Jennifer Montagu (2015): 97-102
  • ‘La discendenza della Santa Cecilia di Raffaello’, in D. Cauzzi and C. Seccaroni (eds.), La Santa Cecilia di Raffaello: Studi e indagini (2015): 57-75
  • ‘The Genius of Donatello’, in A. Butterfield (ed.), Donatello in Motion: A Spiritello Rediscovered (2015): 44-71
  • Author of Introduction and 54 of 56 catalogue entries, Wentworth-Fitzwilliam: An English Collection exhibition catalogue, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (November 2015 – March 2016)
  • ‘The Afterlife of Raphael’s Drawings before 1600’, in U.R. D’Elia (ed.), Rethinking Renaissance Drawings: Essays in Honor of David McTavish (Montreal & Kingston: 2015): 193-208


  • Exhibition Review: ‘Another Asia’, Apollo (2014): 85-87
  • Review of J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, Apollo (2014): 122-23
  • Exhibition Review: ‘Simple Pleasures’, Apollo (2014): 116-17
  • ‘Book of the Year’ (reprint of review of J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum), Apollo (2014): 44-45
  • Review of P. Rosenberg, Les dessins de la collection Mariette: Ecole française, Konsthistorisk Tidskrift (2014)
  • ‘Georg Baselitz and the Collecting of Prints’, in A. Gnann, with D. Ekserdjian and M. Foster, Chiaroscuro: Renaissance Woodcuts from the Collections of Georg Baselitz and the Albertina, Vienna, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy, London (2014): 18-24
  • ‘Foreword’, Rodin in Private Hands, exhibition catalogue, Bowman Sculpture, London (2014): 5-11
  • Author of Introduction and 40 catalogue entries, Casting Modernity: Bronze in the XXth Century, exhibition catalogue, Mnuchin Gallery, New York (2014)
  • ‘Foreword’, A. Ng, The Poetry of Parmigianino’s Schiava Turca, exhibition catalogue, Frick Collection, New York (2014): 6
  • ‘Pietro Cipriani’s Venus de’ Medici and Dancing Faun and the Classical Tradition’, in E. D. Schmidt, R. Balleri, D. Ekserdjian, The Hours of Night and Day: A Rediscovered Cycle of Bronze Reliefs by Giovanni Casini and Pietro Cipriani, exhibition catalogue, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2014): 102-29
  • ‘Sir Denis Mahon storico dell’arte e collezionista’, in A. Coliva, M. Gregori, S. Androsov (eds.), Da Guercino a Caravaggio: Sir Denis Mahon e l’arte, exhibition catalogue, Palazzo Barberini, Rome (2014-15): 35-41
  • ‘La <<Madonna Sistina>> nell’evoluzione della sacra conversazione e nell’ opera di Raffaello’, Bollettino Storico Piacentino, Special issue devoted to the Sistine Madonna, vol. CIX (2014): 7-29
  • ‘A Print after Raphael’s Ajax and Cassandra and Another Antique Cameo’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. LXXVII (2014): 225-27
  • ‘Identification of the Remains of King Richard III’, (with T.E. King, G. Gonzalez Fortes, P. Balaresque, M.G. Thomas, D. Balding, P. Maisano Delser, R. Neumann, W. Parson, M. Knapp, S. Walsh, L. Tonasso, J. Holt, M. Kayser, J. Appleby, P. Forster, M. Hofreiter and K. Schurer), Nature Communications, vol. V, article no. 5631 (2014)


I currently have two major book projects approaching completion:

  • The Italian Renaissance Altarpiece: Between Icon and Narrative (a 200,000-word book)
    Featuring chapters on: 'I. Introduction: Reading the Altarpiece'; 'II. The Virgin and Child with Saints'; 'III. Narrative Altarpieces: The Virgin and Christ'; 'IV: Narrative Altarpieces: The Saints'; 'V: Mysteries'; 'VI: The Predella and its Afterlife'; 'VII: Patrons, Artists, and Contracts'; 'VIII: The Sculptural Altarpiece'; 'IX: Conclusion: The Council of Trent and After'
  • From Drawing to Painting in the Italian Renaissance (a 150,000-word book)
    This book, which was the basis for Oxford Slade Lectures in 2017-18, will comprise nine chapters, as follows: 'I. Introduction: Leonardo da Vinci and Drawing in Quattrocento Italy'; 'II: Michelangelo: The Sistine Chapel Ceiling'; 'III: Raphael: The Stanza della Segnatura'; 'IV: Correggio: The Dome of Parma Cathedral'; 'V: Parmigianino: The Madonna of the Long Neck'; 'VI: Bronzino: The Chapel of Eleanora of Toledo'; 'VII: Barocci: The Madonna del Popolo'; 'VIII: Annibale and Agostino Carracci: The Farnese Gallery'; 'IX: Conclusion'


  • HA1112/HA1312 Introduction to History of Art I
  • HA1115/HA1315 Film and Art
  • HA1120/HA1320 Words and Pictures
  • HA2207 Italy Trip
  • HA2210 Italian Art and Architecture
  • HA2222 Independent Research Essay
  • HA3430 Italy and the North
  • HA3484 From Drawing to Painting in the Italian Renaissance
  • HA3439 Film and Art Journalism
  • HA3487 The Collecting of Art in Great Britain


I am supervising Mirella Cirfi on Giovanni Antonio Pecci, and have recently successfully supervised Emily Wilce on ‘The Fallen Woman in Victorian Art and Literature’ and Ian Hicks on ‘Drawings by Sculptors in Renaissance Italy’. I would be interested in receiving PhD applications from anyone wanting to work on Italian Renaissance paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture, as well as on bronze sculpture from across the globe and the history of collecting.


Various appearances on television and radio programmes, some of which – together with public lectures – are on YouTube, including interviews in French, German, and Italian:

  • Television: For Love or Money; Newsnight
  • Radio: Front Row, In Our Time (programmes on Vasari and The Unicorn available online); Nightwaves; Today

Numerous reviews of exhibitions and art books; also occasional reviews of operas, films, chess, novels, biographies, and obituaries for the following publications:

  • Newspapers: Daily Telegraph; Express on Sunday; Evening Standard; Financial Times; Independent; Independent on Sunday; Sunday Telegraph; Sunday Times; Times
  • Magazines: Art Newspaper; Art Quarterly; Cambridge Review; Catholic Herald; Country Life; Giornale dell’Arte; Literary Review; Minerva; RA Magazine; Spectator; Standpoint; Times Higher Education Supplement; Weltkunst; World of Interiors

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