Dr Carol M Richardson specialises in institutional patronage, particularly that of the Early Modern period. Her research to date has been primarily concerned with the papal city, Rome, and the ways in which the patronage of individuals combine to create corporate identity. A particular feature in all things Roman is the embeddedness of the long history of the city in the works of art and architecture created there.

Being a native Scot, Carol took both her degrees close to home, at the University of St Andrews. She went on to teach at Aberdeen, Edinburgh and The Open University in Milton Keynes, where she was latterly, returning to the city of her birth in 2012. She is passionate about the History of Art as it is the ultimate interdisciplinary subject area, which makes it both inclusive and challenging. She believes it is an antidote to media attention on global crisis and humanity’s inhumanity as art often emerges from, comments on, sometimes resolves and almost always atones for some of our worst actions.

Carol’s most recent books include Old Saint Peter’s, Rome(2013) which came out of a conference she co-organised in Rome. She has published two books on Renaissance cardinals: her monograph Reclaiming Rome (2009), which was described in reviews as ‘a milestone’ and ‘essential reading’, and The Possessions of a Cardinal (2011) co-edited with Mary Hollingsworth). She is currently busy finishing off a manuscript on the cultural identity of the Venerable English College in Rome, the oldest British institution on foreign soil, and the problems of constructing identity for English Roman Catholics when they could not do so legally in their native land. She has also written for and edited widely-used text books, including the anthology of primary sources, Renaissance Art Reconsidered(Blackwell, 2006).

Current teaching includes mathematical perspective, sixteenth century art in Rome between the High Renaissance and the Baroque, and the patronage of the papal court. Recent Knowledge exchange activities include academic consultant for the BBC’s Rome: A History of the Eternal City, the Early Modern programme ‘The Rebirth of God’s City’ (first broadcast 19 December 2012).

Italian Renaissance; Ecclesiastical History; Catholic Reform

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Italian Renaissance
  • Ecclesiastical History
  • Catholic Reform