Allegra Baggio Corradi

PhD Student

The Aesthetic Laboratory: Art, Religion and Philosophy in Renaissance Padua

Supervisor - Guido Giglioni

Research Interests

History of Early Modern Philosophy| Reception of Neoplatonism in Renaissance Italy| Early Modern Doctrines of the Soul| Theories of the Imagination| History of Early Modern Collecting Practices

My research seeks to demonstrate that in sixteenth-century Padua, objects had an agency of their own, which shaped the thoughts and informed the actions of the individuals collecting, commissioning and realising them. This will be endorsed through three aspects of Cinquecento Paduan intellectual history: the question of method central to the scientific debate animating the medical and philosophical circles of the university (regressus); the theological doctrine of apophatism discussed in Dominican theology; and the understanding of art as a discipline sublimating sensorial experience into knowledge through mathematical and mechanical principles and the mediation of the imagination. The main case study will be the philosopher Niccolò Leonico Tomeo (1456-1531), whose collection of paintings, statues, medals, gems and manuscripts will be investigated in order to spell out the mechanics of object-subject interaction.

On a broader level, the project explores the relationship between natural science, medicine and the production of artefacts in early modernity and related to that, the connections between word and image, visible and invisible, ekphrasis and symbolism. 


Before starting her PhD, Allegra completed an MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture at the Warburg Institute and a BA in History and Philosophy of Art at Kent University, both awarded with distinction. 


2017-2020 London Arts and Humanities Partnership 

2016-2017  Coffin Fund for Promising Students


(Forthcoming October 2018) "In the Professor’s Mind: The Language of the Soul in Niccolò Leonico Tomeo’s Cinquecento Padua”, in I Think Therefore I Teach: Evolutions in Early Modern Education (Leiden: Brill, 2018).

Papers given

- ‘In the Professor’s Mind: The Language of the Soul in Niccolò Leonico Tomeo’s Cinquecento Padua’, International Conference "I Think Therefore I Teach: Evolutions in Early Modern Education”, University of Leuven (Belgium), 26 October 2017

- ‘A Book, A Bust and a Pelican Pet: Philosophy, Art and Zoology in Niccolò Leonico Tomeo’s Cinquecento Padua’, Warburg Institute Postgraduate Symposium, Singular Acts: The Role of the Individual in the Transformation of Collective Culture, The Warburg Institute (London), 16 November 2017


Member of the Committee of the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory at the Institute of Modern Language Research (UCL)