Art and architecture: local, global and transcultural art history

Stilleven van Pieter Boel met een globe en kaketoe
Still Life with Globe and Cockatoo - Pieter Boel

Art history at Utrecht University focuses on globalisation processes and their effects on art, architecture and cultural heritage from the Middle Ages to the present. We look at our own geography and at transcultural relations and exchanges with other places in Europe and the world, at local, regional, national and global levels. We develop theories and methods necessary for a better understanding of intertwined and overlapping art histories at these different levels.

We explore current art historical issues, challenging the art historical canon, as well as underlying power structures and the discipline's strongly nationally-oriented historical foundations. We focus on various topics, ranging from art-historical and broader cultural-historical approaches to the global connections that shaped the Dutch seventeenth century; the transatlantic production of knowledge in the early modern period in Italy, Spain and Mexico; the transcultural relations between southern, eastern and northern European art and architecture; the role of transcultural artistic processes in the rise of cultural nationalism; European-Turkish relations from different aesthetic and cultural perspectives, contemporary Chinese art in a global context; and art and architecture from other geographies.