Christine Göttler

Robert Janson-La Palme *76 Visiting Professor
Professor Emerita of Art History at the University of Bern


Christine Göttler is Professor Emerita of Art History at the University of Bern and the Robert Janson-La Palme *76 Visiting Professor in Spring Semester 2024. Prior to her appointment in Bern as Chair of Early Modern Art History in 2009, she was a Professor of Art History at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Her professional awards include fellowships from the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, the International Research Centre for Cultural History (Vienna), the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (Washington, D.C.), the J. Paul Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA), the Newberry Library (Chicago, IL), the Villa I Tatti (Florence), and the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel). From October to December 2023, she will be a fellow at the DFG Centre for Advanced Studies Imaginaria of Force, Universität Hamburg.

Her research interests focus on collecting practices and collection spaces, the intersections between art, natural philosophy, and religious imagination, the relationship between landscape and nature, and early modern notions of materiality and immateriality in art. She has published widely on Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Hendrick Goltzius, and Karel van Mander as well as on the interactions between various arts and crafts in early modern Europe, especially Antwerp. Her current book project, Fluid Worlds: Art and Knowledge in Antwerp’s Global Age, explores Rubens’s engagement with the global world of seventeenth-century Antwerp and the city’s long history of craftsmanship, material expertise, and (hidden) knowledge. She is also working with Sven Dupré on The Worlds and Possessions of the Portuguese Merchant-Banker Emmanuel Ximenez (1564–1632) in Antwerp, where the focus is on the converso merchant-banker’s involvement in the city’s artisanal, commercial, and intellectual culture.

During her appointment as Visiting Professor at the Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University, she will offer a course on “Elemental Ecologies in Early Modern Art” and also organize the conference “Mutable Matter,” related to the theme.


Ph.D. Universität Zürich, 1996

Habilitation Freie Universität Berlin, 2006

Selected Publications

Landscape and Earth in Early Modernity: Picturing Unruly Nature, ed. with Mia M. Mochizuki (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2023).

Material Identities in Early Modern Culture: Objects – Affects – Effects (1450–1750), ed. with Susanna Burghartz, Lucas Burkart, and Ulinka Rublack (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021).

Solitudo: Spaces, Places, and Times of Solitude in Late Medieval and Early Modern Cultures, ed. with Karl A. E. Enenkel (Leiden: Brill, 2018).

“Extraordinary Things: ‘Idols from India’ and the Visual Discernment of Space and Time, circa 1600,” in The Nomadic Object: The Challenge of World for Early Modern Religious Art, ed. with Mia M. Mochizuki (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 37-73.

Tales of Transformation: Hendrick Goltzius’s Allegory of the (Alchemical) Art in the Kunstmuseum Basel,” in Epistemic Images in Early Modern Europe, ed. Christopher Heuer and Alexander Marr, 21: Inquiries into Art, History, and the Visual 1 (2020), 403–444.

“The Marine Venus and Rubens’s Saltcellar: Artists’ Conversations in Antwerp, c. 1628,” in I Tatti Studies, 26, 2 (2023), special issue: Visual Poetry: The Politics and Erotics of Seeing, ed. Shawon Kinew and Felipe Pereda; forthcoming.

Early Modern Art
Home Department and Other Affiliations
Art & Archaeology