Sean Roberts

Sean Roberts

Robert Lehman Fellow
Sabotage! Rivalry, Technology, and the Making of Renaissance Prints
Sean Roberts


Sean Roberts is a specialist in Renaissance visual culture and his research is especially concerned with interactions between Italy and the Islamic world, the history of cartography, and with the place of prints in the histories of art and technology. His essays have appeared in Print Quarterly, Renaissance Studies, and Intellectual History Review. He is the author of Printing a Mediterranean World: Florence, Constantinople, and the Renaissance of Geography (2013) and is the co-editor (with Tim McCall and Giancarlo Fiorenza) of Visual Cultures of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe.

Project Summary

This project charts a new history of printmaking focused on trade secrecy and industrial espionage, exploring how artisans strove to establish engraving as a proprietary technology. Acts of sabotage, the rivalries they expose and collaborations they mask, were formative components of engraving and of Renaissance art as a whole.