photo credit: Cindy Ringer of LJR Images
Marisa Anne Bass is a historian of early modern art whose research explores intersections between creative and intellectual culture, particularly in northern Europe. At present, she is Professor in the History of Art and Chair of Early Modern Studies at Yale University.
Bass thinks about works of art as sites where individual and collective experience meet. By exploring episodes when artists responded to political, spiritual, and cultural upheaval, and when scholars, patrons, and collectors turned to art to make sense of inexplicable circumstances, she considers what art can and cannot do.
She has published on topics including the representation of nature, the cult of images, portraiture, notions of imagination and invention, print culture, emblems, cartography, antiquarianism, monuments, and miniatures. Her books include Jan Gossart and the Invention of Netherlandish Antiquity (2016), Insect Artifice: Nature and Art in the Dutch Revolt (2019), and The Monument's End: Public Art and the Modern Republic (forthcoming 2024), all with Princeton University Press.
In 2021 Bass was awarded the inaugural Guggenheim Fellowship in Early Modern Studies. Her research has been supported by membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, among other fellowships. She joined the Yale faculty in 2016 after holding previous teaching positions at Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis; she received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2011. She considers the Netherlands her second home.
Bass works with students who think with and beyond the traditional bounds of the ‘Renaissance’, and who engage with any aspect of early modern art or material culture from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. She has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in Yale’s History of Art Department and on the executive committee of Yale's Humanities program. She is an affiliate of Yale’s program in the History of Science and Medicine.