Biography

Born on June 13, 1949, in Bucharest (Romania). Romanian and Spanish citizen.

Since 1991 Professor for Art History at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), Département des Sciences Historiques

Research field:

  • Visual hermeneutics; Function of images in the Western tradition;Renaissance and Baroque painting (especially Italian and Spanish)

Education

  • University of Bucharest, 1967–1968
  • University of Rome, 1968–1973 (Tesi di Laurea di Dottore in lettere)
  • University of Paris I, May 1989 (Doctorat d’état ès Lettres)

Fellowships and Grants

  • 1983-1984; 1990-1991, Fellowship of the Foundation Alexander von Humboldt, University of Munich, Germany
  • 1990, Samuel H. Kress Grant at the Institute of Advanced Study of Princeton, U.S.A.
  • 1993, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
  • 1998, Visiting Scholar, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
  • February–March 1999, Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Humanities, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.
  • October 2002-July 2003, Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, Germany
  • October 2005-June 2006, Rudolf-Wittkower Visiting Professor at the Bibliotheca Hertziana of the Max-Planck-Institut, Rome, Italy
  • January–May 2011, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
  • 2014, Francqui international Professor, at several Belgian universities
  • 2016 (May-June) Erwin Panofsky Professor at the Zentral Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, Germany

Other teaching activities

  • Visiting Professor at following institutions: Universities of Paris I (1987), Frankfurt (1990), Göttingen (1989-1990), Neuchâtel (1994-1995), Lausanne (1995), Gerona (1996), Bern (1997), Geneva (2000-2001 and 1997-1998), Basel (1998); Scuola di Studi Umanistici, Bologna (2001); Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (2002); Universidad Carlos III, Madrid (2003); Hebrew University of Jerusalem / European Forum (2007); Harvard University (2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007); Collège de France (2008); Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (2008); Università della Svizzera Italiana, since 2008 (Spring Term); Universität Luzern (Fall term, 2011)

Head of many sponsored scientific projects integrating many young scholars

  • The Image of the Black in Western Art (chapters on the 16th and 17th century Spanish art,Menil Foundation, Houston/Paris, 1992-1997 and the Department of Afro-American Studies of the University of Harvard, 2006
  • La Naissance de la notion d’artiste au XVIe siècle. Comparative study of the Italian and Nordic traditions (Swiss National Research Fund), 2001-2003
  • Ernst Kirchner et Edvard Munch (Project financed by the Boner Foundation of Zurich), 2002-2003
  • Repères pour une histoire de la représentation de la chair dans l’art occidental (in the frame of the National Centre of Competence in Research project: “Mediality. Historical Perspectives”. Swiss National Research Fund), 2005-2008
  • Haut, Farbe und Medialität. Oberfläche im Werk von Jean Etienne Liotard (1702-1789) (Swiss National Research Fund), 2006-2008
  • La Greffe artistique, Iconographie, anthropologie et restauration de l’intégrité corporelle (in the frame of the National Centre of Competence in Research project: “Mediality. Übertragung”. Swiss National Research Fund), 2009-2013
  • Art et Anatomie, in the frame of the National Research Program (Pro*Doc): “Art & Science”, 2008-2011 and 2011-2014
  • Le Portrait féminin en voile. Une histoire picturale du voile à la Renaissance en Italie (Swiss National Research Fund), 2011-2014

Curatorial activity

  • Member of the scientific committee of the exhibition Persone. Ritratto di gruppo, Palazzo Venezia, Rome, 2003
  • Member of the scientific committee of the exhibition RUSSIE !, Venice, 2010
  • Curator of the exhibitionLa Sombra, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum et Caja Madrid, Madrid, February 10 until May 17, 2009

Lectures (selection)

  • Robert Lehman Lecture 2000, Dia Center, New York
  • The Louise Smith Bross Lectures 2003, University of Chicago
  • Werner-Heisenberg-Vorlesung 2004, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, Munich
  • Keynote Lecture at the 17th Congrès National Espagnol d’Histoire de l’Art (CEHA), Barcelone 2008
  • Bettman Lecture, Columbia University, New York 2009
  • Keynote Lecture at the International Symposium “La perspectiva en la tradición artística occidental”, Málaga, December 2011
  • Robert W. Smith Lecture, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 2011
  • The Gauss Seminar in Criticism, University of Princeton, 2012
  • Pilkington Lectures, University of Manchester, 2013
  • Chaire du Louvre, Paris, Sept.-Oct. 2014
  • Bernard Berenson Lectures of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti) 2017

Organisation of symposia, conferences, etc.

  • Chair of the panel “Pictorial Mimesis before and after 1500 at the 27th International Congress of Art History”, 16-20 July 1992, Berlin
  • Chair of the International Interdisciplinary Symposium: “Das Double”, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 4 – 6 December 2003
  • Co-chair of the panel “Représenter l’espace” at the 31st International Congress of Art History of Montreal, August 2004
  • Chair of the section “Physiognomony and the Expression of the Passions”, at the International Congress “Imagen y Aparencia / Image and Appearance”, Murcia, 19-21 November 2008
  • Member of the scientific committee of the International Congress “Imagen y Aparencia / Image and Appearance”, Murcia, 19-21 November 2008
  • Chair of the International Symposium “Para una historia cultural de la sombra”, University Complutense of Madrid / Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, 16-17 April 2009
  • Member of the scientific committee of the International and Interdisciplinary Symposium “El Siglo de Oro” antes y despues de El Arte Nuevo de Lope, Craiova, 7-9 May, 2009
  • Chair of the International Symposium “The Transparent Body”, Istituto Swizzero di Roma / Villa Medici, June 11th and 12th 2010
  • Co-chair of the panel “Cacher / Montrer. Stratégies d’occultation et de mostration dans l’art de la Renaissance et du Baroque” at the First Swiss Art History Conference, Bern, September, 2010
  • Chair of the International Symposium “Murillo. Two Women at the Window”, Center of Advanced Study in the Visual Arts / The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 16th and 17th May, 2011
  • Co-chair of the Japanese-Swiss Colloquium “Métaimage & Parergon”, University of Tokyo-Center for Philosophy and University of Fribourg, Fribourg, 20-21 October, 2011
  • Member of the Organization Committee of the International Symposium “La Perspectiva en la tradición occidental”, Málaga, 15-18 December, 2011

Peer-review teams

  • Member of the peer-review team for the European Research Council Peer Evaluation (2005-2009).
  • Chair of the peer-review team of the Centre André-Chastel, UMR 8150 (AERES), 2009.
  • Member of the peer review for the EURIAS Fellowship Programme.
  • Numerous peer-reviews in art history for the FNS (Swiss National Research Fund), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinshaft (DFG), the Fritz-Thyssen Stiftung and for appointments for art history tenures at universities in Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, U.S.A.

Prizes and distinctions

  • Prize of the “essay book” of the Spanish publishers for Breve Historia de la Sombra, Madrid, Editions Siruela, 1999
  • Art Book Prize of the of the Romanian Publishers' Association for Instaurarea Tabloului, Bucharest, Meridiane, 1999
  • Art Book Prize of the of the Romanian Publishers' Association for Scurta istorie a umbrei, Bucharest, Humanitas, 2000
  • Doctor honoris causa of the National University of Arts, Bucharest, 2007
  • Doctor honoris causa of the Catholic University of Louvain, 2011
  • Foreign Member of the National Accademia dei Lincei, Rome, 2012
  • Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic, 2014
  • Member of the European Academy, 2014
  • Médaille de vermeil of the Académie Française (2015)
  • Associated member of the Académie Royale de Belgique (2016)

Various responsibilities (selection)

  • Co-director of the Series “Natur, Wissenshaft und die Künste”, Peter-Lang-Verlag, Bern, Frankfurt, New York
  • Scientific Committee of the series Storia dell’Arte moderna, Aracne Editrice, Rome
  • Editorial Committee of Harvey Miller Studies in Baroque Art, HMSBAI
  • Member of the General Prize Committee of the International E. Balzan Prize Foundation
  • Member of the Academic Advisory Board of the New Europe College / Institute for Advanced Study, Bucharest
  • Member of the scientific committee of La Revue de l’Art
  • Member of the scientific committee of Iconology Research Group, University of Louvain
  • Member of the scientific committee of the publication Hispania Felix. Revista anual de cultura y civilización del Siglo de Oro
  • Member of the scientific committee of the publication NORBA-ARTE, University of Cáceres
  • Member of the scientific committee of the publication ACTA / ARTIS (University of Barcelona)
  • Member of the scientific committee of the serie Aesthetica Preprint (Palerme)
  • Member of the scientific committee of Verso, Cluj-Napoca
  • Member of the scientific committee of Carte Semiotiche
  • Member of the scientific committee of Iconographica, Rome
  • Member of the international Advisory Board of Art History
  • Member of the international Advisory Board Artibus and Historiae
  • Member of the scientific committee of the publication on line DIEGESIS. E-Journal für Erzähltheorie
  • Member of the scientific committee of the Postgraduate school Studi sulla rappresentazione visiva. Storia, teoria e produzione dell’Arte e delle Immagini, University of Siena, Italy
  • Member of the scientific committee of the publication Anuario del Departamento de Historia y Teoria del Arte de la Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  • Member of the scientific committee of the Encyclopedia del Prado, Madrid
  • Member of the editorial board of the publication ARS (Bratislava)
  • Member of the editorial board of Revista de Teoria del Arte (University of Santiago de Chile)
  • Member of the editorial board of the publication MATERIA (Department of Art History, University of Barcelona)
  • Member of the editorial board of the publication HVMANISTICA. An International Journal of Early Renaissance Studies (Pisa and Rome)
  • Member of the editorial board of the publication RES Anthropology and Aesthetics, (Peabody Museum / Université de Harvard, U.S.A.)
  • Member of the editorial board of the publication Studiolo. Revue d’histoire de l’art de l’Académie de France à Rome
  • Member of the international Advisory Board Rivista di Storia & Letteratura Religiosa