dr adriano aymonino

director of undergraduate programmes


adriano aymonino is co-ordinator of the university of buckingham’s undergraduate history of art programme and the director of undergraduate programmes.  prior to joining the university in 2012, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the paul mellon centre for studies in british art of yale university in london and at the getty research institute in los angeles.

he graduated in history of art at the university of rome, with a thesis on the later artistic production of paolo veronese. he then obtained a master’s degree at the warburg institute in london, after which he completed his phd at the university of venice with a dissertation on the patronage and collecting of the 1st duke and duchess of northumberland, which will be published by yale university press. in 2009-2010 he worked as head of research for the commission for looted art in europe, based in london. he has also worked with commercial galleries in research and valuation.

Drawn from the antiquepaper palaces

a specialist in the reception of the classical tradition in the early modern period, adriano’s research covers the impact of the antique on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century art and architecture, with a particular focus on britain and the culture of the grand tour. his research interests include also the teaching of art and the evolution of art theory between the fifteenth and the nineteenth century.

adriano has recently co-curated with anne varick lauder the exhibition drawn from the antique: artists and the classical ideal (the teylers museum, haarlem, 11 march – 1 june 2015; sir john soane’s museum, london, 25 june – 26 september 2015) and organised an associated symposium at the courtauld institute of art (Artists & the Classical Ideal: from Workshop to Academy, 15 september 2015).

in 2013 he co-curated with lucy gwynn an exhibition on the topham collection of drawings after the antique at eton college library, entitled paper palaces: the topham drawings as a source for british neo-classicism (eton college, 3 may–1 november 2013) and organised an associated conference at the paul mellon centre for studies in british art (17 may 2013).

he is currently working on his book on the 1st duke and duchess of northumberland for yale university press and preparing with nicholas penny and eloisa dodero a revised and updated edition of francis haskell and nicholas penny’s taste and the antique.

he has published extensively in academic journals and exhibition catalogues.



  • classical to early medieval art
  • medieval art
  • renaissance art
  • baroque to neoclassical art
  • romanticism to fin-de-siècle: 1800-1900
  • modern art from 1900

other courses

  • introduction to art history
  • critical concepts in art history
  • secession vienna 1880-1920

research interests

  • reception of the classical tradition in early-modern art and architecture
  • teaching of art – workshop practices – academic theory and practices
  • art theory 1400-1900
  • history of collecting and patronage
  • eighteenth-century british art and architecture
  • grand tour culture

selected publications


  • patronage, collecting and society in georgian britain: the grand design of the 1st duke and duchess of northumberland, new haven and london, yale university press, forthcoming book.
  • francis haskell and nicholas penny, taste and the antique. the lure of classical sculpture 1500-1900: a revised, updated and extended edition (ed. with eloisa dodero), forthcoming book.
  • la vita delle mostre (ed. with ines tolic), milan, bruno mondadori, 2007.
taste and the antiqueLa Vita

exhibition catalogues

  • drawn from the antique: artists and the classical ideal (ed. with anne varick lauder), london, sir john soane’s museum, 2015. read more.
  • paper palaces: the topham collection as a source for british neo-classicism (ed. with lucy gwynn and mirco modolo), eton, eton college press, 2013. read more.

articles and essays

  • ‘the architectural transformation of northumberland house under the 7th duke of somerset and the 1st duke and duchess of northumberland, 1748-86’ (with manolo guerci), the antiquaries journal 96 (2016), 315-361. read more.
  • ‘eighteenth-century british painting and its audience: the “rule of taste” and mercantile society’, in c. brook and v. curzi (eds), hogarth, reynolds, turner: british painting and the rise of modernity, exh. cat., turin, 2014, pp. 3-9.
  • ‘tommaso maria conca’s drawing with the chariot of the sun: a cosmological scheme for the borghese family’, getty research journal, 5, 2013, pp. 29–40. read more.
  • ‘the fortune of the borghese dancers in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century european art and decoration’, in g. capitelli, s. grandesso and c. mazzarelli (eds.), roma fuori di roma: l’esportazione dell’arte moderna da pio vi all’unità (1775-1870), rome, 2013, pp. 476-91.
  • ‘the musaeum of the first Duchess of Northumberland (1716-1776) at Northumberland House in London’, in S. Bracken, A. M. Gáldy & A. Turpin (eds), women collectors, newcastle upon tyne, 2012, pp. 101-20.
  • ‘Syon house e l’uso delle fonti antiquarie nella decorazione inglese del Settecento’, in C. Brook & V. Curzi (eds), roma e l’antico. visione e realtá nel settecento, exh. cat., turin, 2010, pp. 207-12.
  • ‘decorum and celebration of the family line: robert adam’s monuments to the first duchess of northumberland’, burlington magazine, clii, may 2010, pp. 288-96.


  • drawn from antiquity: artists and the classical ideal (with a.v. lauder), the teylers museum, haarlem, 11 march – 1 june 2015; sir john soane’s museum, london, 25 june – 26 september 2015.
  • paper palaces: the topham collection as a source for british neo-classicism (with l. gwynn), eton, verey gallery, 6 may – 30 november 2013.


  • the roman art world in the 18th century and the birth of the art academy in britain. the accademia di san luca and the british school at rome (rome, 10-11 december 2018). call for papers.
  • Artists & the Classical Ideal: from Workshop to Academy, held at the courtauld institute research forum, 15 september 2015 (with a. varick lauder).
  • a window on antiquity: the topham collection at eton college library, held at the paul mellon centre for studies in british art, london, 17 may 2013 (with lucy gwynn).

recent conference papers

  • ‘robert adam and the birth of the “true style of antique decoration”: the interiors at kedleston hall and their antiquarian sources’, georgian group symposium on robert adam and his brothers, 23-24 september 2015. read more.
  • ‘the antique in british workshops and academies before the foundation of the royal academy: theory and practice’, william shipley group symposium on drawing: a pre-eminent skill, 27 march 2015.
  • (with jonathan yarker) ‘theory and practice of art in france and britain in the long 18th century’, view, a festival of art history at the institut français, london, 28 february 2015.

selected publications

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