Julia Biggs

I am an art historian, writer, lecturer and tutor. I graduated with first-class honours in Theological and Religious Studies from Cambridge University, where I have also guest lectured on the representation of Jews in the Italian Renaissance. More recently, I have contributed to catalogue texts focused on contemporary Jewish art for galleries in London and New York. My ongoing research and conference papers explore the interplay between Jewish material culture, patterns of consumption, identity, thought and practice in the early modern period.

My particular area of interest is the painting, sculpture, and to a lesser extent, architecture of the Italian Renaissance, with a strong emphasis on image-making and artistic patronage (exploring less frequently examined topics such as female patronage).   My work is grounded in examining different strands of critical theory such as feminist methodologies and art practice, but I really love the ‘hands-on’ teaching of art history – I enjoy organising private lectures for adults and leading informal art history study visits to museums and galleries in both the UK and Italy.

I have been a tutor and assessor with the Open College of the Arts since 2008 on its Art History units, working with an interesting mix of students to help foster their visual sensitivity and develop their confidence and ability in looking productively at artefacts and images in context. It is very rewarding to see students, via an examination of themes such as style and technique, and coverage of a wide range of periods and schools, gaining competence in formal analysis and enthusiastically interpreting and evaluating primary sources.

I am a member of the Association of Art Historians and a contributing writer to Art UK. In addition to Art History, I also tutor in History and Religious Studies, and I am an examiner in English.