Susanna Caviglia

Susanna Caviglia

Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (France) 2002

  • M.A., Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (France) 1998

  • B.A., Università Degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italy) 1996


Susanna Caviglia took her degrees at the Sapienza University in Rome and the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris. She teaches courses on Early Modern Art and Visual Culture. Her research interests focus on French and Italian Art in the long Eighteenth century, Early Modern theory and practice of drawing, representations of the body in art, and cross-cultural relationships within the Mediterranean world. She is the author of Charles-Joseph Natoire, 1700-1777 (2012) and History, painting, and the seriousness of pleasure in the age of Louis XV (2020), and the editor of L’événement tragiqueaux époques moderne et contemporaine: définition, représentations (with Michel Cassan, 2009); Le prince et les arts en France et en Italie, XIVe-XVIIIe siècles (2011); and Body Narratives: Motion and Emotion in the French Enlightenment (2017). Before joining Duke University, Professor Caviglia taught at the University of Limoges (France) and the University of Chicago. In France, she acquired curatorial expertise working at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the musée Condé in Chantilly the musée du Louvre, and the musée des Beaux-Arts in Nîmes. She is currently working on two new books. The first project, with Niall Atkinson, is tentatively entitled Wandering in Rome: French travelers and the image of the early modern city and investigates the aesthetics of wandering that constituted the experience of Rome for Early Modern French travelers. The second project, tentatively entitled Representing the other: French encounters with Rome and Istanbul (1669-1775), analyzes the way in which French visual and cultural production mediated and made sense of newly constituted cultural and racial differences within the Mediterranean as a means to institute a politics of ritual statecraft during the long 18th-century. Professor Caviglia is the Editor-in-Chief of the series The Body in Art (Brepols) and the Field Editor for 18th-century art for


Visual Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century, Early Modern European Drawing, Cross-cultural Relationships in the Early Modern Mediterranean World


This book project forms part of a collaboration with architectural historian Niall Atkinson, in which we investigate the symbolic itineraries and representational aesthetics... read more »
French painting of Louis XV’s reign (1715–74), generally referred to by the term rococo, has typically been understood as an artistic style aimed at furnishing courtly... read more »
This monograph is the first devoted to one of the greatest painters of Eighteenth century France. Through a triple perspective, it reconsiders Natoire’s achievements as a... read more »
This book provides the first critical forum for debate about ways of interpreting bodily representations during the French Enlightenment from an art historical point of view... read more »
The interest of the prince toward the arts grew spectacularly, especially in France and in Italy, from the 14th to the 18th century. Art and architecture became a political... read more »
In the relation of historians and art historians to time, many tragic events are boundaries, landmarks, turning points. However, these ways  to consider tragic events would... read more »

Caviglia, Susanna. History, painting, and the seriousness of pleasure in the age of Louis XV. Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, Liverpool University Press, 2020.

Caviglia, S., editor. Body Narratives: Motion and Emotion in French Enlightenment. Brepols, 2017.

Caviglia-Brunel, S. Charles-Joseph Natoire, 1700-1777. 2012.

Caviglia, S., editor. Le prince et les arts en France et en Italie (XIVe-XVIIIe siècle). Presses universitaires de Limoges, 2011.

Caviglia, S., and M. Cassan, editors. L’événement “tragique” aux époques moderne et contemporaine: définition, représentations. Presses universitaires de Limoges, 2009.

Caviglia, Susanna, and Nathalie Kremer, editors. Suspendre le temps, continuer l'espace. La catégorisation lessingienne à l'épreuve des arts. Vol. 36, La Part de l’Oeil.

Caviglia, Susanna. “Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-77) ou l’œuvre ultime comme anamnèse: l’exemple des paysages romains.Le Grand Âge et Ses Œuvres Ultimes, edited by Diane H. Bodart and Jean Gribenski, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2020, pp. 257–67.

Caviglia, Susanna. “A Rococo Aesthetic: History Painting and the Self's Embodiment.” What Was History Painting and What Is It Now?, McGill Queen’s University Press, 2019, pp. 50–66.

Caviglia, S. “Rococo Classicisms: Mapping Corporeality.” Classicisms, edited by L. F. Norman and A. Leonard, Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 2017, pp. 43–55. Open Access Copy

Caviglia, S. “The crisis of narration in Eighteenth-century French History Painting.” Painting and Narrative in France, from Poussin to Gauguin, translated by P. D. Cooke and N. Lubbren, Routledge, 2016.

Caviglia, S. “La sociabilité à l’Académie de France à Rome sous le directorat de Charles-Joseph Natoire (1751-1775).” Artistes, Savants et Amateurs : Art et Sociabilité Au XVIIIe Siècle (1715-1815). Art et Sociabilité Au XVIIIe Siècle (1715-1815), edited by A. Gorse et al., 2016, pp. 77–85.

Caviglia, S. 'Della novità in pittura.’ Dal concetto poussinesco alla pratica settecentesca. Edited by S. Cecchini et al., Campisano editore, 2016, pp. 222–27.

Caviglia, S. “Du Sacré au Profane: problèmes de sécularisation de l’image en France au XVIIIe siècle.” Le Sacré En Question Bible et Mythes Sur Les Scènes Du XVIIIe Siècle, edited by B. Ferrier, Classiques Garnier, 2015, pp. 141–59.

Caviglia, S. “Corps représentés, corps présentés. La crise du mouvement chez Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-1777).” Watteau Aux Confluents Des Arts. Les Caractères de La Danse, edited by V. Toutain and C. Rauseo, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014, pp. 347–57.

Caviglia, S. “'Réduits à nous hucher sur des portes’. La peinture d’histoire comme décor au XVIIIe siècle: le déclassement d’un genre?Classement, Déclassement, Reclassement de l’Antiquité à Nos Jours, edited by G. Chabaud, Presses Universitaires de Limoges et du Limousin, 2011, pp. 175–93.

Caviglia, S. “Sans peur et sans crainte: l’enlèvement des femmes dans la peinture d’histoire en France au XVIIIe siècle.” L’ennemi Intime. La Peur: Perceptions, Expressions, Effets, edited by F. Chevaud, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2011, pp. 61–69.


Caviglia, Susanna. “French Rome during the Enlightenment. Capital of Antiquity and crossroads of Europe (1769-1791).” Revue De L Art, no. 176, June 2012, pp. 77–77.

Caviglia, S. “Review of ‘La Rome des Français au temps des Lumières. Capitale de l’Antique et carrefour de l’Europe (1769-1791)’, by G. Montègre (École française de Rome, 2011).La Rome Des Français Au Temps Des Lumières. Capitale De L’Antique Et Carrefour De L’Europe (1769 1791), vol. Revue de l’Art, 2012, pp. 77–77.

Caviglia, S. “Review of ‘Il Settecento a Roma’, exhibition catalogue (Silvana Editoriale, 2005).” Il Settecento a Roma, vol. Bulletin de l’Association des Historiens de l’Art Italien, 2007, pp. 143–44.

Caviglia, S. “Review of ‘Anne Vallayer-Coster: peintre à la cour de Marie-Antoinette’, exhibition catalogue (Somogy éditions d’Art, 2002).” Anne Vallayer Coster. Peintre À La Cour De Marie Antoinette, 2005, pp. 164–65.

Atkinson, Niall, and Susanna Caviglia. “Making sense of Rome in the eighteenth century: walking and the French aesthetic imagination.” Word & Image, vol. 34, no. 3, Informa UK Limited, July 2018, pp. 216–36. Crossref, doi:10.1080/02666286.2017.1404892. Full Text Open Access Copy

Caviglia, S. “Life drawing and the crisis of historia in French eighteenth-century painting.” Art History, vol. 39, no. 1, Feb. 2016, pp. 40–69. Scopus, doi:10.1111/1467-8365.12206. Full Text

Caviglia, S. “Aux limites de l’Histoire. Le Grand Genre à l’épreuve des règles de l’art.Romantisme, vol. 169, A. Colin, 2015, pp. 19–31.

Caviglia, S. “Peinture d’histoire et tapisserie au XVIIIIe siècle.” Archéo Théma, 2012, pp. 37–43.

Caviglia, S. “Charles-Joseph Natoire. Le dessin à l’origine de la création.” Dossier De L’Art, vol. 196, 2012, pp. 10–25.

Caviglia, S. “Arrêt sur une oeuvre. Quatre oeuvres de l’exposition commentées.Dossier De L’Art, vol. 196, 2012, pp. 26–33.

Caviglia, S. “Les techniques graphiques au XVIIIe siècle.” Dossier De L’Art, vol. 196, 2012, pp. 34–41.

Caviglia, S. “Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-1777): un peintre oublié?Revue D’Auvergne, vol. Collected essays, Figures oubliées, figures de l’oubli. Les vicissitudes du goût en peinture au XVIIIe siècle, 2008, pp. 105–16.

Caviglia, S. “M.P.G. de Chabanon et J.S. Duplessis: un idéal de vérité.” Revue Musicorum, 2008, pp. 8–12.

Caviglia, S. “Des finalités du dessin chez Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-1777).” Revue De L’Art, vol. 143, 2004, pp. 35–48.



Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

Arts & Sciences Research Award awarded by Duke University (2020 to 2021)

Visiting Fellowship awarded by Bard Graduate Center (2019)

David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Fund awarded by Duke University (2018)

David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Fund awarded by Duke University (2018)

David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Fund awarded by Duke University (2017)

Course Arts Resource Fund awarded by University of Chicago (2015)

Course Arts Resource Fund awarded by University of Chicago (2014)

Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality awarded by University of Chicago (2014)

France Chicago Center Award awarded by University of Chicago (2014)

Grant of the City of Limoges awarded by City of Limoges (2011)

Grant of the Conseil Régional du Limousin awarded by Conseil Régional du Limousin (2011)

Grant of the Conseil Régional du Limousin awarded by Conseil Régional du Limousin (2010)

Grant of the Conseil Régional du Limousin awarded by Conseil Régional du Limousin (2007)

Fellowship of the École Française de Rome awarded by École Française de Rome (2003)

Fellowship of Ministère de l'Éducation Nationale awarded by Ministère de l'Éducation Nationale (1997 to 1998)

Fellowship of European Union awarded by European Union (1995 to 1996)

Spring 2020

Special Topics (ARTHIST 590S.05)
Nasher 121, M 10:05 AM-12:35 PM

Fall 2019

Women in Visual Arts (ARTSVIS 245S.01)
Nasher 119, Tu 10:20 AM-12:50 PM
Women in Visual Arts (ARTHIST 245S.01)
Nasher 119, Tu 10:20 AM-12:50 PM

Spring 2019

Drawing Foundations (ARTHIST 265.01)
Smith Wrhs A101, W 11:45 AM-02:15 PM
Drawing Foundations (VMS 256.01)
Smith Wrhs A101, W 11:45 AM-02:15 PM

Fall 2018

Special Topics (ARTHIST 590S.01)
Smith Wrhs A290, Th 10:05 AM-12:35 PM

Spring 2018

Body in Art Early Mod Europe (ARTHIST 317.01)
Nasher 119, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
Special Topics (ARTHIST 590S.02)
Nasher 119, W 01:25 PM-03:55 PM