Dr. Laura Overpelt

Assistant Professor
Art History

Dr. Laura Overpelt (1984) received her BA in Art History 300-1800 (BA) and an MPhil in History of the Visual Arts 300-1800 (cum laude) from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. 

In 2022, she received her PhD from the Open Universiteit, Heerlen, defending her thesis entitled "By a Single Painter". The Organization and Representation of Giorgio Vasari's Decorative Projects in the Palazzo Vecchio. This research project was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) from the 'PhD's in the Humanities-Program'. Her supervisor was prof. P.B.M. (Paul) van den Akker.

The subject of her PhD project was the daily organization of Giorgio Vasari's workshop in the Palazzo Vecchio, while he was responsible for designing and executing the decorations in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence for (Grand) Duke Cosimo I de' Medici. In this research, the main question is how it can be explained that these decorations are described in a chapter in Vasari's famous Le Vite (The Lives of the artists, 1568) as executed "by a single painter in remarkably little time", while a large team of assistants contributed to it. By thorough examination of the written sources and (quantative) analysis, this research not only offers many insights into the daily organization of the sixteenth-century painters' workshop, but through a better understanding of the context in which these sources were written, also in their nature, origin, and purpose. 

Currently, dr. Overpelt is working on the publication of her thesis. 

Next to this project, she focuses on the intended and spontaneous 'contamination' in the training and workshop practices from traveling artists and ideas in early modern Europe. From January 2024, she is detached as the Director of Studies in Art History to the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (www.knir.it).