I am an art historian. I specialize in the visual and material culture of eighteenth-century France. I have varied research interests that include artistic communities, histories of the art world and art institutions, portraiture and self-portraiture, religious art and architecture, maps and mapping, material culture and ‘things’. My research has been informed at different times by a range of theoretical interests, from semiotics and phenomenology, to anthropology, microhistory, digital humanities and material culture studies.
Currently I am based in London as Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the School of History at Queen Mary University in London. I did my undergraduate degree in Art History and History at the University of Sydney, before moving to London to do a Masters and PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art. During my doctorate I spent a year in Paris as a research fellow at the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte (Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art). Before moving back to London, I spent five years at the University of Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow in Art History at St John’s College and as a Lecturer in the Department of History of Art.
As a Leverhulme Fellow at QMUL, I’m working an a major book project called Art and Religion: Inside the Parish Churches of 18th-Century Paris, which probes the crucial and vastly underexplored subject of religious art during this period of French history. I am also working on an exciting digital mapping project, Artists in Paris: Mapping the 18th-Century Art World (with Chris Sparks), exploring the cultural geography of the Paris art world. And I’m collaborating with Katie Scott to write a book about Artists’ Things: Lost Property from 18th-Century France, which explores objects that used to belong to artists in the eighteenth century. For more specific details about my work at the moment see Current Research.
I teach in the School of History at QMUL and for the University of London in Paris. I have also taught Art History at the University of Oxford, the Courtauld Institute of Art, University College London, and the University of Sydney.
I am a founding co-editor of Journal18 – an open access online journal devoted to eighteenth-century art and culture.
I tweet at @DrHanWill.