Maria Loh

Maria Loh

Robert Lehman Visiting Professor
Liquid Sky: Representations of the Pre-Gravitational Sky
Maria Loh


Maria H. Loh is Professor in Art History at CUNY Hunter College. She was a predoctoral fellow at the Getty Research Institute, the Joanna Randall-MacIver Junior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College Oxford, the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize, and the Willis F. Doney Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Until 2016, she taught in the Department of History of Art at University College London. Her publications include Titian Remade. Repetition and the Transformation of Early Modern Italian Art (Los Angeles, 2007), Still Lives: Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Master (Princeton, 2015), and Titian’s Touch (forthcoming from Reaktion).

Project Summary

Liquid Sky is a short history of the sky in the visual arts of the pre-modern periods. It explores a vast range of materials from the use of gold tessera in late Medieval mosaics and the explosion of ultramarine heavens in Giotto’s fresco to impressionistic studies such as Albrecht Dürer’s watercolours of Northern landscapes; from woodcuts and engravings that appear in astrological texts to first hand accounts of natural disaster; and from the dramatic brushwork found in Venetian canvases from Titian to Tiepolo to Galileo’s engravings of the spots on the moon. Individual chapters will consider the sky: as infinity (in both celestial and mathematical terms); as a representational challenge frustrating traditional categories of line and colour; as a cause for wonder and anxiety; and as a marker of time.