Diane Wolfthal

David and Caroline Minter Professor of Humanities
Professor of Art History
Ph.D. (1983) Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
M.A. (1973) Queens College, City University of New York
B.A. (1970) City College, City University of New York
117 Herring Hall

Research Areas

Late medieval through 17th-century art

Diane Wolfthal specializes in late medieval and early modern European art.  Her interests include feminist and gender studies, Jewish Studies, the history of sexuality, technical art history, and the study of the intersection of money, values, and culture. Her authored books include In and Out of the Marital Bed: Seeing Sex in Renaissance Art (Yale University Press, 2010), Picturing Yiddish: Gender, Identity, and Memory in Illustrated Yiddish Books of Renaissance Italy (Leiden: Brill, 2004), Images of Rape: The "Heroic" Tradition and its Alternatives (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and The Beginnings of Netherlandish Canvas Painting (Cambridge University Press, 1989). She co-authored Princes and Paupers: The Art of Jacques Callot (2013) and Corpus of Fifteenth-Century Painting in the Southern Netherlands and the Principality of Liège: Early Netherlandish Paintings in Los Angeles (Brussels: KIK-IRPA, 2014). She has also edited or co-edited collections of essays on the family; peace and negotiation; the rise of the monetary economy and its effect on European culture; and a Festschrift for Colin Eisler.  She is a Founding Co-editor of Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Her current projects show the range of her interests.  Her article “Complicating Medieval Anti-Semitism: The Role of Class in Two Tales of Christian Attacks on Innocent Jews," appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Gesta. “Weave Match and its Implications: The Case of Dirk Bouts," co-authored with Don Johnson and Catherine Metzger was published in Workshop Practice in Early Netherlandish Painting: Case Studies from Van Eyck through Gossart, edited by Maryann Ainsworth (2017).  Her article “Art History and Huizinga’s Autumn of the Middle Ages,” will appear in The Autumn of the Middle Ages Revisited: The Legacy of Huizinga's Masterwork, ed. by Peter Arnade and Martha Howell (Amsterdam University Press).  Another essay, "When Did Servants become Men?" is in press in Rivalrous Masculinities, ed. by Ann Marie Rasmussen and J. Christian Straubhaar (University of Notre Dame Press).  "Foregrounding the Background: Dutch and Flemish Images of Household Servants" will be published in Concerning Early Modern Women of the Low Countries, ed. by Sarah Moran and Amanda Pipkin.  "Old Maids: Images of Elderly Household Help," will appear in Old Women, Witches and Old Wives: An Anthology Across Cultures, ed. by Frima Fox Hofrichter.  Her article "Scribe and Owner as Artist in a Sixteenth-Century Yiddish Miscellany" will be published in Images 11 (2018).  And an essay titled “From Venus to Witches: The Female Nude in Northern Europe,” and seven catalogue entries will appear in The Nude in Europe during the Renaissance, 1400-1530, ed. by Thomas Kren (J. Paul Getty Museum, exhibition catalogue, 2018).

Wolfthal's two major current projects are Household Help: Images of Servants and Slaves in Europe and Abroad, 1400-1700, under contract to Yale University Press, and an exhibition, Medieval Money, for the Morgan Library and Museum in New York.
For PDFs of her publications, see her website on academia.com.