Tom D

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    My Experience

    I have 4 years of experience teaching History of Art to undergraduates. This was at the University of Reading and the focus of the course was on the Italian artist, architect and writer Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574). In this class we focused on the text and publication history of Vasari’s famous compendium of biographies, The Lives of the Most Excellent Paints, Sculptors and Architect’s (first published in 1550; republished, enlarged and revised in 1568), which is generally considered the first printed work of art history and alongside Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier (1528) and Machiavelli’s The Prince (1532) it is one of the books most emblematic of the Italian Renaissance – indeed, it is believed to be the first publication in which the word ‘renaissance’ (rinascimento) appears in print. My students acquired visual fluency in Italian art of the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and a critical understanding of the technical and stylistic progression of art throughout this period, each seminar focusing on one or two of its key figures: Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Bellini, Mantegna, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian and Michelangelo. By the end of the term they had a grasp of the main aesthetic and ideological concerns and motivations in Vasari’s text and how they linked up to the broader context of Italian Renaissance intellectual history and historiography. We addressed complex questions such as the status of the artist, the culture of disegno, patronage and power – taking into consideration the book’s conception and voyage to press and how it has shaped our own understanding of the Italian Renaissance. The class also involved a trip to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford where we studied some of the finer examples of the museum’s magnificent collection of drawings by Michelangelo and Raphael.

    Subjects I teach

    History of Art Undergraduate
    History of Art Postgraduate
    Essay writing in the humanities (mainly History of Art, History, English Literature)

    My Qualifications

    University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.), Italian Studies, 2017
    Full doctoral award (£40,906), Arts and Humanities Research Council
    Dissertation title: ‘Caravaggio in Naples’

    Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
    Visiting doctoral student, May-September, 2013
    ERASMUS travel grant (£800)

    University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.), Early Modern History, 2011
    Distinction

    University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Master of Arts (M. A.), History of Art, 2010

    My Passion And How I Inspire

    My long-held fascination with and love of art led me to dedicate over ten years of my life to the study of art history and visual culture, and eventually undertake a Ph.D. on Caravaggio (my favourite artist) and Italian Baroque painting, which I completed in 2017. One part of doing my Ph.D. that I enjoyed most was the opportunity it gave me to teach. It is difficult to describe the sense of reward one feels when one successfully transfers something you have learned to another person, and shared a piece of complex information and made it accessible and understood. Some things are difficult to understand, but once you understand them, you always will, you will never lose touch with that understanding. Facilitating this process of cognition is what excites me most about teaching. I am available to tutor university students in the history of European art of the Renaissance and early modern periods (1400-1800). I will also consider any requests outside of this remit, so please feel free to contact me. I am available to tutor anyone who needs help at secondary school level, in which case I’d be happy to cover any area of art history and contemporary art to help the student get through his or her exams or write essays.

    My video Introduction


    Fun fact

    I am a quarter Japanese.

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