Michael Cole

Michael Cole

Robert Lehman Visiting Professor
The Art and Architecture of Spanish Italy
2022-2023 (September-January)
Michael Cole


Michael Cole is Howard McP. Davis Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, where he served as department chair from 2015-21. His recent books include Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Art of the Figure (Yale 2015) and Sofonisba’s Lesson (Princeton 2019). His article “Vincenzo Danti’s Deceits” (co-authored with Diletta Gamberini) won the Renaissance Society of America’s 2017 William Nelson Prize. With Alessandra Russo, he is directing an ongoing Getty Connecting Art Histories project on “Spanish Italy and the Iberian Americas.”


Project Summary

During the early modern period, there existed no equivalent of the modern Italian nation. Instead, the majority of the peninsula, as well as the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, counted among the global dominions of the Spanish empire. This project asks what connected the art and architecture produced in the regions of Italy that were historically Spanish, giving new attention to neglected monuments and considering more familiar works in a different light.