B.A., University of Rome “La Sapienza”, 1986
Associate Professor, Italian Renaissance Art
Francesca Fiorani received her Ph.D. in Renaissance Art from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and joined the University of Virginia in 1995. An expert on the relationship between art, science, and technology in Renaissance and Baroque Europe, she has written extensively on Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance cartography and mapping, scientific culture in Renaissance courts, artistic theory (especially the theory of colors, shadows, and artistic perspective). Her recent book The Marvel of Maps. Art, Cartography and Politics in Renaissance Italy (Yale U.P., 2005) focuses on two compelling map murals of the Renaissance — the Guardaroba Nuova of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence and the Gallery of Maps in the Vatican — which Ms. Fiorani interprets within the scientific culture, collecting practices, and political and religious beliefs of the Medici and papal courts.
Ms. Fiorani’s other areas of research interest include the history of the printed book, religious art, scientific illustrations, collecting practices, and the culture of the Renaissance court. She is currently writing a book on Leonardo da Vinci’s shadows and their legacy in the practice and criticism of Renaissance and Baroque art.
She is also the Director of the project Leonardo da Vinci and His Treatise on Painting. Sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), the project focuses on the creation of a major electronic archive to facilitate the study and interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Treatise on Painting.
Francesca Fiorani teaches a great variety of graduate and undergraduate courses on Renaissance Art. She is also the director of two very popular UVa Study Abroad Program, the J-Term course in Rome and Florence and the Rome Summer Program.
McIntire Department of Art