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Monika Schmitter

Professor and Department Chair | Italian Renaissance and Baroque

(413) 545-0634

South College W301B

Ph.D., Michigan, 1997

Monika Schmitter is a specialist in Italian art of the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth century with an emphasis on the material culture and built environment of Venice.  She is particularly interested in portraiture, patronage, domestic art and architecture, gender and class issues, and the history of collecting.  Her book, The Art Collector in Early Modern Italy: Andrea Odoni and his Venetian Palace, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. 

She has also published articles in journals such as Renaissance Quarterly, The Burlington Magazine, Renaissance Studies, The Journal of Architectural Historians, and Studies in Iconography.

Her research on the sixteenth-century art expert Marcantonio Michiel has also led her to study in other cities in Italy, for example, Bergamo, Padua, and Cremona.  Her publications on painted palace facades analyze monuments in Trent, Rome, Vicenza, and Siena, as well as Venice.

She has been a recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including a Visiting Senior Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery (2012), Samuel H. Kress Foundation Grant, Renaissance Society of America (2018, 2011), Gladys Krieble Foundation Grant for Study in Venice and the Veneto (2020, 2018, 2011, 2004, 2000), Villa I Tatti Fellowship, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, Italy (2000-2001), and Lilly Teaching Fellowship, University of Massachusetts (1999-2000).

Her knowledge of and affection for the city of Venice and its territories, developed over many years, informs her General Education class, “Venice: Art, History, and Environment,” which covers topics from the founding of the city in the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire to current controversies about tourism and climate change.  She also teaches courses at the upper level in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, as well as graduate seminars on more specialized topics.  

Research Areas

  • Italian Renaissance
  • Baroque


Reviewed by Peter Humfrey in The Burlington Magazine 164 (April 2022): 422-23; and Leah Clark in Journal of the History of Collections

  • “The quadro da portego in Sixteenth-Century Venetian Art.”  Renaissance Quarterly 64 (Fall 2011): 693-743.
  • “Review of Exhibitions: ‘The Triumph of Marriage’ and ‘Art and Love in Renaissance Italy.’” With Patricia Simons. Renaissance Studies 23:5 (November 2009): 703-12.
  • "Odoni's Façade: The House as Portrait in Renaissance Venice," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 66 (Sept. 2007): 294-315.
  • "Virtuous riches: The Bricolage of Cittadini Identities in early sixteenth-century Venice,” Renaissance Quarterly 57 (2004): pp. 908-69.
  • “The Dating of Marcantonio Michiel’s ‘Notizia’ on Works of Art in Padua,” The Burlington Magazine 145 (August 2003): pp. 564-71.
  • “Falling Through the Cracks: The Fate of Painted Palace Façades in Sixteenth-Century Italy.” In The Built Surface. Architecture and the Pictorial Arts from Antiquity to the Enlightenment, Volume 1, edited by Christy Anderson. London: Ashgate, 2002, pp. 130-161.
  • “The Display of Distinction: Art Collecting and Social Status in Early Sixteenth-Century Venice,” PhD Dissertation. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1997.
  • "Botticelli's Images of Simonetta Vespucci: Between Portrait and Ideal." Rutgers Art Review 15 (1995): 33-57
  • Venice. Practitioners and Patrons: Collaboration in the Graphic Arts. With Annette Dixon. Exh. cat. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Sept. 1996 - January 1997.
  • "Mocking Masculinity? Parmigianino’s Portrait of a Man in Vienna"
  • “Negative Findings and the Nonextant: The Case of the Cremonese Ceiling”
  • The Courtauld: The Art Collector in Early Modern Italy
  • HFA Faculty WorksThe Art Collector in Early Modern Italy: Andrea Odoni and his Venetian Palace

Courses Recently Taught

  • ART-HIST 213 Venice: Art, History, Environment
  • ART-HIST 313/613 High Renaissance Art and Mannerism in Italy
  • ART-HIST 314/614 Sexuality, Drama and Invention: The Baroque Artist in Italy
  • ART-HIST 391e Caravaggio: Rebel Artist?
  • ART-HIST 711 After Mona Lisa: Portraits and Selves in Renaissance Italy
  • ART-HIST 397F/697F Art and Literature in Renaissance Florence