Job title: Senior Lecturer

Role: Programme Director, MSc in History of Art, Theory and Display; Director of Postgraduate Taught Studies, History of Art

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4118


Office address: Room 0.51, Higgitt Gallery, Hunter Building

Contact time: Tuesday, 3pm - 4pm (appointment must be made in advance by email)

Research outputs: Dr Claudia Bolgia on Edinburgh Research Explorer

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):

2017- Laura Horne (Recipient of AHRC Award) 'Sacra Mysteria: Images as Reliquaries in Medieval Central Italy'

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 Bojkovski (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’


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):

2017 Samuel Gerace (Recipient Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship) ‘Holding Heaven in Their Hands: An Examination of the Functions, Materials, and Ornament of Insular House-shaped Shrines’

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.

Claudia has a specialized knowledge of European art from c. 300 to 1450, with a particular interest in Italy and, especially, Rome, as a node of exchange and transmission, not only across space but also across time. Her research has always been situated within a wide international context, from early publications (Speculum 2006, in which she offers a new interpretation of the ninth-century mosaics of S. Marco in Rome in relation with Venice, Byzantium and the Carolingians) to broader research projects, culminating in the major international conference Rome across Time and Space: Cultural Transmission and the Exchange of ideas, c. 500-1400 (CRASSH, Cambridge 2008), and in the subsequent co-edited volume (CUP 2011), as well as in peer-reviewed chapters and articles in major scholarly journals. Her major monograph (Reclaiming the Roman Capitol: S. Maria in Aracoeli from the Altar of Augustus to the Franciscans, c. 500-1450, Ashgate/Routledge 2017) begins with the reconstruction of the religious buildings on the Capitol and moves towards wider issues, including a revision of the relationships between Rome and England, Bohemia, the Holy Land and the major Italian city republics in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Current research for her next book, The Long Trecento: Rome without the Popes, c. 1308-1420, engages with the patterns of exchange and dialogue between Rome and the Italian Comuni, Rome and Avignon, Rome and the great royal courts of Europe (particularly Naples, England, France, and Bohemia) by way of pilgrimage, gift exchange, and circulation of copies, with attention to the mechanisms of transmission and reception of Roman 'models' outside Rome.

The art and architecture of the Mendicant Orders is another major area of research, with specific focus on the activity and beliefs of the friars as a vehicle for artistic exchanges, especially with Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Other areas of interest include the cult of icons and relics and how they were displayed and 'used' in medieval society; and Digital Humanities, leading the international Interdisciplinary Research Project 'Linking Evidence: A Digital Approach to medieval and Early Renaissance Rome, c. 1140-1430'.

PhD Supervision Topics

Accepting applications.

  • Italian Medieval and early Renaissance Art
  • Art and Architecture of the Mendicant Orders
  • Medieval Rome
  • Cult of Icons and Relics
  • Medieval Pilgrimage 
  • Cultural and Artistic Exchanges in the Middle Ages