John Lansdowne

Lansdowne_Photo (2014) BW cropped

John Lansdowne



John Lansdowne specializes in medieval and early renaissance art, with a particular focus on the exchange of objects and images between Italy and the eastern Mediterranean world. His dissertation project—Image Made Flesh—is a close study of a Byzantine micromosaic icon of the Man of Sorrows at the Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome and its ‘life’ as a cult-object between East and West in the later Middle Ages. His research has been supported by a Mellon Summer Fellowship, the Hyde Academic-Year Fellowship for Research Abroad in the Humanities, the Stanley J. Seeger ‘52 Fellowship in Hellenic Studies, and the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome.

John was an undergraduate at Boston College and received an M.Phil. in Classical Archaeology from St Cross College, Oxford. He spent Spring 2014 in the Department of the History of Art at Johns Hopkins University and the 2014-2015 Academic Year as a Fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte) in Rome. Since 2015, John has been enrolled in the Diploma Programme in Manuscript Studies offered by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies of the University of Toronto. At Princeton he has served as a preceptor for the Department, a Graduate Fellow at Mathey College, and coordinator for the Mount Menoikeion Summer Seminar, held annually at the Monastery of Timios Prodromos in Serres, Greece.

Current Research

As recipient of the Marian & Andrew Heiskell/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize in Medieval Studies for 2015-2017, John is currently a Fellow in residence at the American Academy in Rome.


“Kara’s Dust.” The Ecstasy of St. Kara / Kara Walker: New Work (Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2016), 30-33.

 “Giordano da Pisa: Remarks on the Authority of Icons from Greece (1305) – Translation and Commentary.” Texts on Byzantine Art and Aesthetics: From Alexios I Komnenos to the Rise of Hesychasm (1081 - 1330), eds. C. E. Barber & F. Spingou (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).                                                                    

“The Truth in Material Things.” TRANSLATIO: Emily Jacir – Via Crucis (Roma: NERO, 2016), 4-16.

“Flesh, Visual Arts”; “Gems/Gemstones, Visual Arts”; “Heavenly Ladder, Visual Arts.” Entries in the Encyclopedia for the Bible and Its Reception, eds. D. C. Allison, Jr. et al. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2014-2015.