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Una Roman D'Elia

Professor, Art History and Art Conservation, Queen's University, Ontario

I am a full professor in the department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen's University, where I have taught since 2008. My specialty is Italian Renaissance art. My PhD (Harvard University) was awarded in 2001. I am the author of many articles on diverse subjects and two monographs (The Poetics of Titian's Religious Paintings, Cambridge UP, 2005; and Raphael's Ostrich, Penn State UP, 2015), as well as the editor of a book (Rethinking Renaissance Drawings: Essays in Honour of David McTavish, McGill-Queen's UP, 2015). I also have a growing list of digital publications (including virtual exhibitions and a major database), co-authored with graduate and undergraduate students. I hold and have held numerous fellowships and grants from such organizations as SSHRC, Harvard's Villa I Tatti, the College Art Association, and the Kress Foundation. I am also enormously proud to have won two university-wide teaching awards in the last two years.

My current research focusses on painted sculptures in the Italian Renaissance, works that have a startling naturalism and have more in common with a modern waxworks museum than with the white marble muscle men that are often seen as characteristic of the Renaissance. I am studying the paint on the surface of statues (a history of painting in 3-D), the materials with which these works were made (wood, clay, wax, cork, cloth, gold, pigments from all over the world, etc.), and the ways in which people treated these statues as if they were living bodies, both proper behaviour and misbehaviour. My sources are the objects themselves, archival documents, devotional handbooks, other religious texts, and also fictional short stories and jokes.


  • 2002–present
    Professor, Queen's University


  • 2001 
    Harvard University, PhD
  • 1997 
    Harvard University, AM
  • 1995 
    Yale University, BA


Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada