Jill Burke is a specialist in Italian Renaissance visual culture. Her teaching and research focus on how the visual arts affected the way people understood themselves and the world around them. She has just started a new research project on how renaissance visual culture affected the way people understood and sought to modify their own bodies. She is currently working on an article that questions ideas of fatness and thinness before the notion of "weight", and considering appearance-modifying diets from the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Jill has recently finished a long-term research project on the nude and nakedness in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries - due to be published as a monograph called The Renaissance Nude: Nakedness in Art and Life in Italy, 1400-1530. She also recently co-curated Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance - an exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (November 2014 - May 2015) that uses Renaissance images to question current-day beauty ideals.
Jill's first book, Changing Patrons: Social Identity and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Florence, was published in 2004, and was widely reviewed as a major contribution towards the understanding of renaissance art patronage. Her most recent articles are on the impact of the African voyages of exploration on the Renaissance nude; Michelangelo and humour; and female nudity in the Renaissance. She has also edited two books focussing on Rome - Art and Identity in Early Modern Rome (co-edited with Michael Bury) and Rethinking the High Renaissance. She is Associate Editor of the journal Renaissance Studies, 2012-17.
Jill was a Philip Leverhulme Prize holder, 2009-11, in recognition of her "outstanding" contributions to Art History. She previously held research fellowships in the AHRC Court Culture in Early Modern Rome project, the Dutch Institute for Art History in Florence and the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence (Villa I Tatti).