Victor M. Schmidt studied art history at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (1975-1981) and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London (1981). He received his Ph.D. from the University in Groningen with a dissertation on the Medieval representations of Alexander the Great. During the 1985-1993 he taught at the Department of Art History in Groningen. In 1993 he received an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowship from the Center for the Advanced Study in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; directly afterwards he became senior research fellow at the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence till early 1999, when he resumed his teaching activities in Groningen. In 2008 he was visiting lecturer in the MA programme Art History at the Catholic University of Louvain. As of the academic year 2009-2010 he works at Utrecht University. Until the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022 he was coordinator of the RMA programme Art History. In October 2021 he was visiting professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa.
Victor's major area of expertise is late Medieval and Renaissance art, with special reference to panel painting, the typology and function of art objects, iconography and iconology, the social position of the artist, and early art theory and historiography. Major publications in these areas:
Italian panel painting of the Duecento and Trecento (Studies in the history of art, 61), ed. Victor M. Schmidt, Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2002.
Painted piety: panel paintings for personal devotion in Tuscany, 1250-1400, Florence: Centro Di, 2005.
The altar and its environment, 1150-1400 (Studies in the visual cultures of the Middle Ages, 4), Turnhout: Brepols, 2010, edited with Justin Kroesen.
Stendardi e gonfaloni processionali dalle Marche. Tardo medioevo e Rinascimento, Fermignano (PU): Edizioni Centro Studi "G. Mazzini", 2020.
Victor regularly collaborates with national and international museums, including, in recent years, the Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht, and the Museo di San Marco in Florence.
His current projects are: late Medieval and early modern painting and conceptions of the world; curtains and hangings in art (and real life); crosses and crucifixes in the Middle Ages and the early modern period.
Victor is a member of the scientific committees of the periodicals Prospettiva and La Diana. Rivista semestrale della Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Storico Artistici dell'Università degli studi di Siena. He is also a board member of the Stichting voor Nederlandse Kunsthistorische Publicaties, which publishes the periodical Simiolus.
He is one of the foreign teachers of the Dottorato internazionale in Storia delle Arti e dello Spettacolo Pegaso, supported by the Universities of Florence, Pisa, and Siena.