John Lansdowne

Ph.D., 2019


John Lansdowne received his doctorate in September 2019 with a dissertation titled: The Micromosaic of the Man of Sorrows at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. He is currently postdoctoral fellow and assistant to the director at I Tatti—The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, outside Florence.

John specializes in medieval and early modern art in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, with a special focus on exchanges between Italy, Byzantium, and the wider East Christian world. Major elements of his research investigate the new meanings that objects and images accrue when brought into different cultural or ideological contexts and premodern paradigms for issues in contemporary society. His book project, Fraction = Union, explores how visual allegories of Christ’s fractured body became a means to conceptualize and represent oecumenical union—the idea of all Christian peoples united as one in an undivided “worldwide” Church.

John’s research has been supported by the Seeger ‘52 Graduate Fellowship in Hellenic Studies, the Hyde Academic-Year Fellowship for Research Abroad in the Humanities, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. As a predoctoral candidate, John resided in Rome for three years, first as Princeton fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte), and next at the American Academy in Rome, where he held the Rome Prize in Medieval Studies for 2015–2017. More recently, John held the 2019–2020 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Byzantine Studies at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, followed by an NEH-Postdoctoral Fellowship via the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Selected Publications

“Compounding Greekness: St. Katherine ‘the Egyptian’ and the Sta. Croce Micromosaic.” Gesta 60.2 (Fall 2021), 173–215.

“Giordano da Pisa: Remarks on the Authority of Icons from Greece (1306): Translation and Commentary.” Readings in the Visual Culture of Later Byzantium, ed. Foteini Spingou, Texts on Byzantine Art and Aesthetics 3 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 1.890–900.

“Narrative to Icon: The Inscriptive Origins of Christ Ecce Homo.” Word & Image (forthcoming) [10,460 words]. 

“Hagia Sophia takes centre stage in the battle over Turkey’s past.” Apollo (30 June 2020).

Essay in “A Questionnaire on Monuments.” October, vol. 165 (Summer, 2018): 85–87.

“A Monumental Latin Poem at the Casa dei Crescenzi in Rome.” Inventory 10 (forthcoming).

TRANSLATIO / Emily Jacir: Via Crucis. Rome: NERO, 2016 [installation book designed and edited with artist Emily Jacir and historian Christopher MacEvitt; 116 pages; ISBN: 8897503942]; contributed essay “The Truth in Material Things.” op. cit., 4–16.

“Kara’s Dust.” The Ecstasy of St. Kara / Kara Walker: New Works, ed. Beau Rutland and Reto Thüring, exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), 30–33.

“Weapons for Remembering.” Enrico Riley: Infinite Receptors, exh. cat., Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2017), 24–27.

“Flesh, Visual Arts”; “Gems/Gemstones, Visual Arts”; “Heavenly Ladder, Visual Arts.” Entries in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, 30 vols., ed. Dale C. Allison, Jr. et al. (Berlin: DeGruyter, 2014–2015), 9.189–190; 9.1102–1103; 11.596–597.

“Echoes of the Apostoleion in Late Antique Italia Annonaria.” The Byzantinist 1.1 (2011), 4–5; 15.