Art and Art History

Ann Roberts

Ann Roberts

James D. Vail III Professor of Art History Emerita

Dean of the Faculty


Renaissance Art
Northern Europe and Italy
Women in Art


Images of Women in European Art


PhD History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
MA History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
BA History of Art, The Johns Hopkins University


Dominican Women and Renaissance Art: The Convent of San Domenico of Pisa Ashgate-Routledge, 2008.

Janson’s History of Art, 7th edition. Lead author and responsible editor for Renaissance chapters. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.

Jansons Basic History of Art (Renaissance chapters). 8th edition, Pearson Education, 2009.

Janson’s History of Art (Renaissance chapters). 8th edition, Pearson Education, 2011. Reissued 2016.

Janson’s Basic History of Art (Renaissance chapters) 9th edition, Pearson Education, 2014.


”Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy: Virgen de la Leche,” catalogue essay in  Ximo Company, ed. Fondos Pictoricos de la Coleccion Laia-Bosch. Vol 1. Pintura Sobre Tabla (Siglos XV-XVI). Lleida: Centre d’Art d”Epoca Moderna 2014.

“The Dominican Audience of Plautilla Nelli’s Last Supper” in Jonathan Nelson, ed., Plautilla Nelli (1524-1588) The Painter-Prioress of Renaissance Florence. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008, 72-87.

“The Posthumous Image of Mary of Burgundy,” in Women and Portraits in Early Modern Europe. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008, 55-70.

“The Horse and the Hawk: Representations of Mary of Burgundy as Sovereign,” in Excavating the Medieval Image: Manuscripts, Artists, Audiences-Essays in Honor of Sandra Hindman, edited by Davis S. Areford and Nina S. Rowe.  Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, 135-50.

“Plautilla Nelli’s Last Supper and the Dominican Refectory Tradition,” in Suor Plautilla Nelli (1523-1588). The First Woman Painter of Florence. Florence, Edizioni Cadmo, 2000 (Italian History and Culture. Yearbook of Georgetown University at Villa Le Balze, vol. 6), 39-49.

“The City and the Convent: The Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy’s Virgin of the Rose Garden,” The Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts Vol. 72, no. 1/2 (1998): 56-65.

“The Mocking of Elisha,” entry in Drawings in Midwestern Collections. Volume One: Early Works, edited by B. Dunbar and E. Olszewski, Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1996, 120-26.

“Chiara Gambacorta as Patroness of the Arts,” in Creative Women in Medieval and Early Modern Italy: A Religious and Artistic Renaissance, edited by E.A. Matter and J. Coakley.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1994, 120-54.

“The Landscape as Legal Document: Jan de Hervy’s View of the Zwin,” The Burlington Magazine 133 (February 1991): 82-86.

“The Chronology and Political Significance of the Tomb of Mary of Burgundy,” Art Bulletin 71 (September 1989): 376-400.

“Cloistered Nuns as Patrons and Painters: The Convent of San Domenico in Pisa,” in Italian Renaissance Studies in Arizona (Selected papers from the proceedings of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference), edited J. Brink and P. Baldini, River Forest, IL 1989,  89-111.

“North meets South in the Convent: The Altarpiece of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in Pisa,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 50, no. 2 (1987): 187-206.

“The Lucy Master and Hugo van der Goes,” Jaarboek Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerp (1987): 1-16.

“Silverpoints by the Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy,” Oud Holland 98 (1984): 237-45.


“Women and the Word,” exhibition co-curated with introductory essay at DePaul University, January 16 - March 14, 2004. 


Review of Kate Rudy, Virtual Pilgrimages in the Convent, for the Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter. Vol. 29, n.1, April 2012.

 Review of Dagmar Eichberger et al., Women at the Burgundian Court, for the Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter vol. 29, n.1, April 2012.

 Review of Susan Broomhall and Jennifer Spinks, Early Modern Women in the Low Countries: Feminizing Sources and Interpretations of the Past, for Renaissance Quarterly 65, n. 1(2012), 267-268.

Review of Jane L. Carroll and Alison G. Stewart, eds. Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Gender and Northern Art in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, for CAAREVIEWS.ORG in 2005 (online journal). 

Review of David Wilkins and Sheryl Reiss, editors, Beyond Isabella. Secular Women Patrons of Art in Renaissance Italy in The Sixteenth Century Journal XXXIII (2002): 1204-1205. 

Review of Hugo van der Velden, The Donor’s Image. Gerard Loyet and the votive portraits of Charles the Bold, in Speculum 77 (2002): 1406-1408. 

Review of Anne McGee Morganstern, Gothic Tombs of Kinship in France, the Low Countries and England, in Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter 18, no. 1 (April 2001): 35-36. 

Review of Diane Wolfthal, Images of Rape, in Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter 16, no.2 (1999): 31-32. 

Review of Jean Wilson, Painting in Bruges at the Close of the Middle Ages, for CAAREVIEWS.ORG in 1999, (online journal) 

Review of A. Arnould, De la Production de miniatures de Cornelia van Wulfschkercke au couvent des carmelites de Sion a Bruges, in (April 1999): 38. 

Review Essay: D. Apostolos-Cappadona, Encyclopedia of Women in Religious Art; Brigitte Buettner, Boccaccio’s “Des cleres et nobles femmes”: Systems of Signification in an Illuminated Manuscript; J. Hamburger, Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent; J. Wood, Women, Art and Spirituality: The Poor Clares of Early Modern Italy, in Art Bulletin 80 (March 1998): 172-175. 

Review of Maryan Ainsworth, Petrus Christus, Renaissance Master of Bruges, in American Association of Netherlandish Studies Newsletter 43 (April 1995): 13-14. 

Review of Brendan Cassidy, ed., Iconography at the Crossroads, in Studies in Iconography 16 (1994): 228-231. 

“Interpreting the Renaissance Landscape,” Review Article in Mediaevalia et Humatiistica n.s. 18 (1992): 215-219. 

Review Essay: Liana Castelfranchi Vegas, Italia e Fiandra nella Pittura del Quattrocento; Roberto Salvini, Banchieri Fiorentini e Pittori Fiamminghi; Paolo Torresan, // Dipingere di Fiandra, in The Art Bulletin 69 (September 1987): 470-472. 

Selected Conference Papers

“The Lucy Master and Spain: New Works with Spanish Connections.” Read at Midwest Art History Society meeting, Chicago, April 2008. 

“Morals and Meanings in Renaissance Prints of Pyramus and Thisbe,” read at Augustana College, February, 2004. 

“Religious Women, Reading and Rules,” read at “Women and the Word,” DePaul University, January, 2004. 

“The Posthumous Image of Mary of Burgundy,” read at annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, March 2001. 

“Tradition and Translation in Jan Provoost’s Genoa Annunciation,” read at the 25th annual meeting of the Midwest Art History Society, Chicago, April 1998.
“The Refectory Frescoes of San Domenico of Pisa and Women’s Role in the Dominican Observance,” read at the College Art Association annual meeting, Boston, February 1996. 

“An Illustrated Incunable of the “Rule of Saint Jerome” and late Medieval Representations of Nuns,” read at the Renaissance Society of America annual meeting, April 1995. 

“Women Artists and Women Patrons in the Convent,” read at “Women and Patronage in the Arts of the Renaissance,” Ohio State University, February 1993. 

“Literary and Visual Representations of Silence for Women,” read at CEMERS conference.

“The Role of Women in the Middle Ages,” SUNY Binghampton, October 1992. 

“‘Le fenestre delle morte’: The Parlatorio in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries,” read at annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Stanford University, March 1992. 

“Conventions and Inventions in the Representation of Religious Women,” read at 26th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI May 1991. 

“‘La boccha chiusa’: Visual and Verbal Exhortations to Silence in the Convent,” read at 25th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 1990. 

“Religious Images and the Religious Life: Paintings from the Convent of San Domenico in Pisa,” read at the 20th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 1985. 

“Notes on the Washington Assumption by the Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy,” read at the Midwest Art History Society meeting, Notre Dame, IN, April 1981.

Current Projects

Book project: Representing Mary of Burgundy 

Book project: An Illustrated “Rule of Saint Jerome” and Late Medieval Representations of Nuns. 

Articles in progress: Pyramus and Thisbe in Renaissance Art, Female Hermits in Early Modern Images; the Life and works of Jan de Hervy of Bruges.

Awards and Honors

FaCE Grant, Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Spring 2007. 

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Fall 2001.                

Summer research grant, Lake Forest College, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006.

Academic Innovation Group Curricular Development Grant, Lake Forest College, 1998,2000. 

Ball Brothers Visiting Fellowship, Lilly Library, University of Indiana, 1994. 

University of Iowa Faculty Development Grants, 1984,1994. 

Fulbright Scholar, Western European Regional Research, 1986. 

Professional Activities

American Association for Netherlandic Studies, editorial board, 2004-present.

Renaissance Society of America, Session Chair for Annual Conference, March 2007. 

Mellon Symposium on Medieval Religious Women at Medieval Institute, Notre Dame, March 2007, invited respondent. 

College Art Association:

  • Chair, Open Session, Northern Renaissance Art, Chicago, 2001. 
  • Delivered paper at Boston, 1996. 
  • Chair and Organizer of session, “The Waning of the Fifteenth Century: The Future of the Field,” San Antonio, 1995. 
  • Co-Chair and Organizer of session, “Functions of Art and Architecture in Women’s Religious Communities, 1300-1600,” Chicago, 1992.
  • Discussant in session, “Trading Images and Ideas in the Arts of the Netherlands and Spain,1400-1700,” New York, 1994. 
  • Discussant in session, “Countercurrent and the Mainstream: New Perspectives in Medieval Art,” Boston, 1987. 
  • Reviewer for The Art Bulletin, 1993,1996.