Jill M. Pederson

Associate Professor, Visual and Performing Arts

Spruance 111 (215) 572-2107 On sabbatical 2021-22

About Me

Jill Pederson is Associate Professor of Art History at Arcadia University, specializing in European art with an emphasis on Italian painting, sculpture, and graphic work from the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries.  Her research focuses on the intersection of visual, literary, and intellectual culture in northern Italy. Dr. Pederson is author if Leonardo, Bramante, and the Academia: Art and Friendship in Fifteenth-Century Milan (Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2020). This book deepens our understanding of the Renaissance master by providing contextualization for his first Milanese period (c.1482-1499). Although Leonardo has long been cast as an artistic anomaly, the study resituates him within a specific scholarly network that helped to shape his own visual idiom. By suggesting that Leonardo derived inspiration from a wider group of artists, poets, and scientists, the book challenges prevailing ideas about Leonardo’s universal genius and contributes to a more complex understanding of an artist who influenced conceptions of creative practice for generations to come.

Other research interests include art theory and criticism, Italian humanism, Renaissance historiography, early modern court culture, and gender studies. Dr. Pederson is currently engaged in a second research project on constructions of gender in the portraiture of Leonardo’s followers, known as the Leonardeschi. An additional research project examines the artistic followers of Leonardo da Vinci within the context of cultural exchange and explores the proliferation of the Leonardesque pictorial mode across transcultural geographies.

Dr. Pederson received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University (2008). Before joining the faculty at Arcadia University, she taught at Johns Hopkins (2003–2004), Colorado College (2003, 2006­­­–2007), and Catholic University (2010–2011). She was also a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2007–2010). She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, Kress Foundation Fellowship, Renaissance Society of America Research Grant, Ahmanson Research Fellowship at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (UCLA), and a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society.


Areas Of Focus

Italian Renaissance Art, 17th-century European Art, Renaissance Humanism, Leonardo da Vinci, History of Science, Art Theory and Criticism, Renaissance Historiography, Early Modern Court Culture, and Gender Studies.

English, Italian, French, German, Spanish

Education History

Johns Hopkins University 2008

PhD, Major in Art History

George Washington University 1999

MA, Major in Art History

Colorado College 1995

BA, Major in Art History


Author 2020

Leonardo, Bramante, and the 'Academia': Art and Friendship in Fifteenth-Century Milan

Book, Harvey Miller/Brepols

Author 2019

The Sala delle Asse as Locus amoenus: Revisiting Leonardo da Vinci’s Arboreal Imagery in Milan’s Castello Sforzesco

Article, Green Worlds in Early Modern Italy: Art and the Verdant Earth, edited by Karen Goodchild, April Oettinger, and Leopoldine Prosperetti (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019), 89–108.

Author 2019

Leonardo, Bramante, and the Visual Tradition of Friendship

Article, Leonardo e gli altri: Leonardo in Dialogue, edited by Francesca Borgo, Rodolfo Maffeis, and Alessandro Nova (Florence: Kunsthistorisches in Florenz, 2019), 147–64.

Author 2019

Under the shade of the mulberry tree’: Reconstructing Nature in Leonardo’s Sala delle Asse

Article, Leonardo Studies: Architecture and Nature, edited by Constance Moffat and Sara Taglialagamba (Leiden: Brill, 2019).

Author 2014

Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio’s Portrait of Girolamo Casio and the Poetics of Male Beauty in Renaissance Milan

Article, Renaissance Love: Eros, Passion, and Friendship in Italian Art around 1500, edited by Jeanette Kohl, Marianne Koos, and Adrian Randolph. I Mandorli Series (Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2014).

Author 2008

Henrico Boscano’s Isola beata: New evidence for the Academia Leonardi Vinci in Renaissance Milan

Article, Renaissance Studies