Dr Caroline Rae
- Affiliate - Centre for Textile Conservation & Technical Art History (School of Culture & Creative Arts)
As a technical art historian, I combine traditional methods of art historical research with the scientific study of materials and techniques in order to gain a holistic understanding of paintings, their modes of production, and the artists, assistants and craftsmen and women who contributed to their making. This intersection also helps us to fruitfully address questions of conservation, display, attribution and authentication.
I specialise in the Early Modern period, with a focus on Netherlandish emigre artists who worked in Tudor/ early Stuart England and Jacobean Scotland (John de Critz the Elder, Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, Adrian Vanson and Adam de Colone). In this context I look at broader questions of mutual influence and cross-cultural dialogue between emigré and native artists in terms of technique, workshop practice and iconography.
My PhD thesis (submitted April 2015) dealt with Anglo-Netherlandish workshop practice from the 1580s to the early 1630s, with a focus on, and comprehensive technical investigation of, the works of de Critz and Gheeraerts , two key court artists working at the court of James VI and I. A further focus of the thesis was materials and techniques utilised by de Critz and Gheeraerts with two key native contemporaries, Robert Peake and William Larkin. The PhD was jointly hosted by the Courtauld and the National Portrait Gallery, and funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of the major 'Making Art in Tudor Britain' (MATB) interdisciplinary research project at the NPG
I have also conducted extensive research and technical analysis on the works of Fuseli. I have conducted the only comprehensive study of the artist's materials and techniques to date, which included technical examination of 32 paintings, in conjunction with documentary research (Fuseli's lectures on painting at the Royal Academy and accounts of his working practice by pupils and other contemporaries). I have subsequently undertaken art historical research and technical analysis in support of authentication on various works attributed to the artist, and I have recently completed an essay on Fuseli's materials and techniques for inclusion in the catologue of the forthcoming "Fuseli: Drama and Theatre" exhibition opening at the Kunstmuseum, Basel later in 2018.
I welcome research proposals related to these topics.
- 2017: Awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship by Yale’s Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, London
- 2016-17: Caroline Villers Research Fellowship, Courtauld Institute of Art
- 2013: Visiting Scholar, Yale Center for British Art (in residence September/ October 2013). Working in the YCBA Conservation studio alongside Jessica David, Assistant Conservator and Mark Aronson, Chief Conservator. The focus of my research was the technical examination of works by de Critz and Gheeraerts in the Center’s collection.
- 2013: CPD Bursary from the Clothworkers’ Foundation in order to undertake the ‘Pigments and the Polarising Microscope’ course run by Peter MacTaggart in April 2013
- 2013: Awarded funding and completed Palaeography course at Senate House (University of London) run by Dr Jenny Stratford
- 2011: Leverhulme Studentship for doctoral studies
- 2009: Funding from the June Baker Trust to enable me to undertake an internship in the Conservation Department of the National Galleries of Scotland
- 2007: NADFAS (National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies) Patricia Fay Memorial Fund
- 2007: Painters Stainers Scholarship (for three years conservation study)
- 1999: Major Scottish Studentship for Rubens studies
- 1999: University of Edinburgh Small Scholarship for academic excellence
- 1997: Carnegie Vacation Scholarship to study in the Prado, Madrid
- 1997: Alfred Bader prize, University of Edinburgh, for best essay on the Rembrandt honours course
MLitt Technical Art History: Making and Meaning
- The Authentic Artwork
- Art in the Making: Historical Techniques
Undergraduate supervision, MA History of Art