Nicola Suthor

​M.A., Freie Universität Berlin, 1998
Ph.D., Freie Universität Berlin, 2001
Habilitation, Universität Bern, 2008

Nicola Suthor teaches Northern and Southern Baroque art, in particular painting and sculpture. She looks into the periods of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment for a deeper understanding of the 17th century. Her art historical approach deals with ancient as well contemporary aesthetics and art theories as theoretical framework.

Her research is an effort to understand how thinking about art comes to grips with thinking in art. In conjunction with an analysis of an array of painting practices, she has carried out a series of critical readings in the art-writing of the 17th and 18th centuries, a literature that shows an astounding—and to a certain extent forgotten—sensitivity for painterly phenomena.

Her present research project, “Meta/physics of Drawing: Trains of Thought and the Artist’s Line,” is concerned with the seventeenth-century practice of sketching. Among the problems she is exploring here are the mechanics and automizations of movement processes whose precise knowledge is meant, in a second step, to help determine the characteristic qualities of the artist’s “handwriting.” This research project is based on the thesis that the horizon of possibilities opens up in a process of vague linear articulation: a phenomenon that art-historical literature has at best approached as “autonomous” or empty of meaning but that has usually been simply neglected.

Before coming to Yale in 2015, she tought art history at the universities of Berlin (2012-14), Bern (2007-09), Hamburg (2011), Heidelberg (2009-11), and Stanford (2006). In 2011 she was visiting member of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton. In 2012 she received the Jacob Burckhardt-Price of the Max Planck Institut in Florence. She was the Robert Lehman Visiting Professor (2017) and the Francesco De Dombrowski Visiting Professor (2020) at the Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, It. In 2022, she was New-Horizon guest professor at the Department of Art History at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

Suthor’s possible fields for advising include but are not limited to: Northern and Southern Renaissance, Dutch and Italian Baroque, and 18th Century European Art.

Nicola Suthor has co-edited numerous volumes on different topics like Synergies in visual culture (Munich 2013), artistic rivalry and competition (Im Agon der Künste, Berlin 2007), aesthetic strategies of transfiguration (Verklärte Körper, Munich 2006), contagion as aesthetic principle (Ansteckung. Zur Körperlichkeit eines ästhetischen Prinzips, Munich 2005), the relation of art and scripture (Ars et scriptura, Berlin 2001
) and the art of portraiture in art theory (Das Portrait, Berlin 1999). She has written three monographs on Titian (Augenlust bei Tizian, Munich 2004) Rembrandt (Rembrandt’s Roughness, Princeton Univ. Press 2018; German edition Munich 2015) and on Bravura: Virtuosity and Ambition in Early Modern Painting, Princeton Univ. Press 2020 (German edition Munich 2010). 


HSAR 281 Visual Arts in the Age of Reason

HSAR 283 Leonardo Michelangelo Raphael

HSAR 294 Caravaggio

HSAR 293 Baroque Rome

HSAR 298 Rembrandt

HSAR 418 Seeing, Describing, Interpreting

HSAR 489 Pathos-Figures: Affectation Images in the Visual Arts 

HSAR 657 What is Baroque?

HSAR 674 The History of Color 1400-2000

HSAR 630 Body-Languages in 16th and 17th century European art