Gemma Cornetti

PhD Student 

The Social Life of Early Modern Italian Portrait Prints

Supervisors: Joanne Anderson Michelle O’Malley

Research Interests

Ancient Rhetoric|Anthropology of Art|Italian Renaissance Printmaking| Notion of Ingenuity| Portraiture| Print Collecting| 16th and 17th-century Venetian Art and Culture| Word and Image Studies

My research deals with the diverse and rich production of printed portraits which were circulating in Italy in the early modern period. Drawing on the agenda of art history and anthropology, I seek to analyze the artistic potential of this important segment of the Italian printmaking production. Furthermore, my project attempts at recovering the social life which these images were endowed with.

More broadly, my investigation engages with issues of likeness, identity, agency and models of consumption.


Gemma completed an MA in Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture at the Warburg Institute, awarded with distinction. She also holds an MA in Art History (summa cum laude) and a BA in Art History and Cultural Heritage (summa cum laude) from the University of Florence.


Review of: ‘Ornament Prints of the INHA Jacques Doucet collections’, in Ornements XVe-XIXe siècles: Chefs d’oeuvre de la Bibliothèque de l’INHA, Collections Jacques Doucet, exhibition catalogue, ed. Lucie Fléjou and Michaël Decrossas (Paris: Mare & Martin, 2014), in: Print Quarterly, vol. XXXIV: 4 (2017), pp. 433-35


London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP)