Institut für Kunstgeschichte




Chiara Franceschini is University Professor (W2) for Early Modern Art History at the LMU in Munich since the 1st of June 2016. She studied history of art and early modern history at the Scuola Normale and the Università di Pisa, receiving her PhD from the SNS in 2008. Before joining the LMU in Munich, she was post-doctoral fellow and Academic Assistant at the Warburg Institute and taught Renaissance Studies at University College London. She works and writes on topics at the crossroads of the history of art, early modern history and the conflicts surrounding religious images in early modern cultures, as well as on art theory and historiography. Her monograph, Storia del limbo (Milano, Feltrinelli, 2017) explores the iconography and the theological debates about limbo from Mantegna to Michelangelo. She edited Classifying Content: Photographic Collections and Theories of Thematic Ordering (Special Issue of Visual Resources, 2014, with K. Mazzucco); Chapels in Roman Churches of the Cinquecento and the Seicento. Form, Function, Meaning (Milan, Officina Libraria, forthcoming in 2019, with P. Tosini and S.
F. Ostrow) and Contested Forms. Sacred Images and Normativity in Early Modern Art (Turnhout, Brepols, forthcoming in 2019). Currently, she directs the ERC-funded project “SACRIMA: The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe” (2016-2021) on interrelations between art, religion, and cultural geography in Renaissance and Counter-Reformation Europe (

Undergraduate education

1992 - 1997 Study of Renaissance and Early Modern History of Art, Archaeology and Early Modern History at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the Università di Pisa
1997 Diploma di Laurea, Università di Pisa Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia: “Renata di Francia a Ferrara (1527-1560): corte francese e contesto italiano” (Relatore: Adriano Prosperi; Secondo relatore: Lina Bolzoni)
1997 Diploma di Licenza in Discipline Storico-Artistiche an der Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa: “La committenza alla corte di Ferrara negli anni di Ercole II d’Este” (Relatrice: Paola Barocchi)
2008 ‘Perfezionamento’ (PhD) in Discipline Storiche at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Classe di Lettere): “Il limbo e le sue immagini: tardo medioevo-età moderna” (Jury: Adriano Prosperi, Carlo Ginzburg, Salvatore Settis, Pierre-Antoine Fabre, Marco Collareta, Michele Olivari, Pierroberto Scaramella)
3/2017 Call as ‚Professore Associato’ for Early Modern Art History (L-ART 02) at the Università degli Studi Ca’ Foscari,Venezia (declined)
6/2016 Call as W2 Univ.-Professorin für Kunstgeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit mit Schwerpunkt auf religiösen Bildern in Europa at the Institut für Kunstgeschichte of the LMU München
2015 – 2016 Research Fellow of the Italian Academy for Advanced Study in America, Columbia University, New York
2014 – 2015 Fernand Braudel-IFER Fellow (International Fellowships for Experienced Researchers), Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme/ École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris
2011 – 2016 Teaching Fellow in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Department of Italian Studies, School of European Languages, Culture and Society, University College London (on leave for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016)
2010 – 2013 Academic Assistant, The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London (Photographic Collection).
2009 – 2011 Newton International Postdoctoral Fellow of the British Academy at The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Currently Funded Research Projects

2016-2021 ERC-Starting Grant Project (GA n. 680192): SACRIMA: “The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe” (Principal Investigator). Info at
2019-2020 DAAD, Projekt 57449711, Partnershaftsprogramm mit der Waseda University 2019: “Early Modern Sacred Images in Japan and in Europe: Contact, Comparison, Conflict” (2019-2020). Principal Investigator (together with Prof. Yoshie Kojima, Waseda University, Tokyo).
2016-2021 Adele Hartmann-Programm funding from the LMU


2019 Award of DAAD-Projektes 57449711, Partnershaftsprogramm mit der Waseda University 2019, as Principal Investigator (see above).
2015 Award of ERC-Starting Grant-Projektes (GA n. 680192): SACRIMA, as Principal Investigator (see above).
2014 Awards of Fernand Braudel-IFER Fellowship (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris) and of Italian Academy Fellowship (Columbia Univerisity, New York)
2011 I Tatti Prize for Best Essay by a Junior Scholar, awarded by The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti (edition 2011, awarded in 2012)
2009 Award of Newton International Postdoctoral Fellowship, (at the Warburg Institute), The British Academy, The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society
2003 Award of “Progetto Giovani Ricercatori 2003” (at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa): “Immagini e censura. Modalità di selezione di immagini sacre e formazione di un bagaglio iconografico in età moderna.”
11/1999 First place ex-æquo in the competion for a three-year funded PhD post at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Classe di Lettere (postponed of one year).
09/1999 Award of a three-year funded post at the European University Institute in Florence, San Domenico di Fiesole (Florence), Department of History and Civilization, for a projecto on
„Family Chapels in Early Moder Rome“ (declined after one year).
10/1992 Winner of a four-year fudended student post at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Classe di Lettere e Filosofia

Scholarships during study time (before PhD award)

1992-1997 Scholarship at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Corso Ordinario, 4 years)1996/2002 Exchange sholarships at the École Normale Superieure, Paris
1999-2000 PhD scholarship at th European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence, Department of History and Civilization.
2000-2003 PhD scholarship at the Scuola Normale Superiore.
2003/05 Exchange scholarships Warburg Institute, London