Dr Claudia Bolgia (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the History of European Art, with a special focus on the art, architecture and visual culture of medieval and early Renaissance Italy.

She graduated from the Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (Laurea cum laude), where she subsequently completed a Specializzazione in Storia dell'Arte Medievale e Moderna (cum laude).

She gained her PhD from the University of Warwick in 2004.

Before joining the University of Edinburgh in 2007, Claudia was Keith Sykes Research Fellow in Italian Studies at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (2003-2007).

Prior to this, she was awarded a two-year fellowship from the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Naples, for a research project on: L’idea di Roma e del mondo classico nel tardo Medioevo. L’uso dell’antico nella chiese tardomedievali romane.

In 2009-2010 she was awarded a Rush H. Kress Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, where she started a new research project entitled The "Long" Trecento: Rome without the Popes, c. 1305-1420.

In January-April 2012 she was scholar in residence at the British school at Rome and visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome with grants from the British Academy, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Moray Endowment Fund and the ECA Research Committee of the University of Edinburgh.

In September-December 2013 she was Visiting Professor at Sapienza, Università di Roma.

She returns to The "Long" Trecento project as Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellow at CASVA - The Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Washington (2016-17), Charles Montgomery Gray Fellow at the Newberry Library, Chicago (May-June 2017), and Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow (2017-18).

She is an advisor on the e-journal Art in Translation (a Getty-funded project).



Claudia was nominated for EUSA teaching awards in 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15 and 2015-16 for her excellence in teaching and supervising at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

She teaches the following courses:

  • Medieval Italy, Byzantium and the Classical tradition (taught as part of History of Art 1)
  • Rome: From Imperial Capital to Holy City, c. 300-1300 (History of Art - MA, 3rd year)
  • Poverty and Patronage: Francis, Dominic and the Arts in Italy, c. 1228-1350 (History of Art - MA, 4th year)
  • Rome across Time and Space. Visual Culture and Cultural exchanges, c. 300-1300 (MSc - Master programme)
  • Global Encounters in medieval Art (taught as part of the Art in the Global Middle Ages - MSc programme) 

Current PhD supervision (First Supervisor):

2016- Tommaso Castaldi (Recipient of ECA PhD Scholarship) ‘The iconography of the Virtues and Vices in the Communal Palaces and Private Houses of Central Italy, c. 1200-1300’

2015- Grahame Mackenzie, (Recipient AHRC Award) ‘Spolia as holy relics in medieval Rome’

2014- Mariia Gordusenko (Recipient Principal’s Award) ‘The earliest Representations of Sculptors in Italian Art: Myths, self-reflectivity and the View of the Contemporaries’

2013- Amelia Hope-Jones (Recipient AHRC Award) ‘The Lives of the Hermits in Thirteenth to Sixteenth-Century Italian Painting: Eremitic Life, Monasticism and Society in Late Medieval Italy’

2013- Fabian Bojkowski (Recipient Principal’s Award) ‘Iberian Identity and the Challenge of Alterity: The Transformation of the Image of Jews and Muslims in Christian Art, c.1200-1300’

2012- Samuel Gerace (Recipient Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship) ‘Moving Heaven on Earth: Insular and Roman Exchange in House-Shaped Reliquaries’

PhD supervision, awarded (First Supervisor):

2013 Clare Sandford-Coach (with recommendation of publication) ‘Images of Justice in Northern Italy, 1250-1400’

Current PhD supervision (Second Supervisor):

2013- Stephenie McGucken, ‘Revising Queenship in Anglo-Saxon Art’

2009- Lesley Fraser (pt), ‘Tapestry in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century France: Patterns of Patronage and Collecting’ [on interruption of studies 2012-14]

PhD supervision, awarded (Second Supervisor):

2015 Tasha Gefreth, ‘Pictish Sculpture: Heresy and Belief’

2013 Katja Monier, ‘Vision and Devotion in late-medieval Bourges: The Master of Spencer 6, his Career and Patronsà

Claudia welcomes applications from students wishing to pursue research in medieval and early Renaissance Italian art and architecture, particularly in any of the fields mentioned above.

Research interests

Claudia's research interests are many and varied. Her main field of research is Rome, as both a place and an idea, from Late Antiquity to the Trecento, including all aspects of art and visual culture, with particular attention to:

  • the legacy of Antiquity and the Classical Tradition; the transmission of ideas and cultural exchanges
  • the reception of ancient Rome in the Middle Ages
  • the relationship between Rome and Byzantium in the Medieval period
  • Trecento sculpture
  • the cult of icons and relics, and their architectural, devotional and liturgical setting
  • medieval mosaics
  • patrons and artists

Other research interests lie in the fields of:

  • Art and Architecture of the Mendicant Orders
  • Pilgrimage Art and Architecture
  • Trecento Art in Rome, Prague, Avignon and Siena 

Research activity

Claudia is Research Fellow of the British School at Rome and Principal Investigator of the International Interdisciplinary Project Linking Evidence: A Digital Approach to Medieval and early Renaissance Rome, in collaboration with Prof. Maurizio Campanelli (Sapienza, Università di Roma)

Her monograph Reclaiming the Roman Capitol: Santa Maria in Aracoeli from the Altar of Augustus to the Franciscans, c. 500-1450 is forthcoming with Francis and Taylor/Routledge (formerly Ashgate). This book is the result of a long-term research project which throws new light on the ideology, aspirations and activity of the Friar Minors, and - by placing the Aracoeli (the headquarters of the Order in Rome) within a broad Italian and European context - provides a new understanding of Franciscan architecture and artistic policy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 

In July 2008, Claudia organised the International Interdisciplinary Conference Ex Changes. Rome across Time and Space: Cultural Transmission and Reception of Ideas (c. 400-1400)’, held at CRASSH, Cambridge. Originating from the conference, the book Rome Across Time and Space. Cultural Transmission and the Exchange of Ideas, c. 500-1400 was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, co-edited with Rosamond McKitterick and John Osborne.

Among the many research events that Claudia has initiated and organises is the Research Seminar on Italian Trecento Art, an annual research seminar based in Scotland (in collaboration with the Universities of St Andrews and Glasgow), with thematic strand, international speakers, and rotating venues (The Art and Justice, May 2011; Translating Cultures, May 2012; Textiles as Material Culture, May 2013; Artists and Authorship, May 2016).

She is mentor of Dr Luca Palozzi, British Academy Postoctoral Fellow (2015-18), working on the research project The Renaissance in the Round: Sculptors, Space and Three-Dimensional Spatiality in Trecento Italy.

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Italian Medieval and early Renaissance Art
  • Art and Architecture of the Mendicant Orders
  •  Rome
  •  Cult of relics