Christina Lamb Chakalova
I specialize in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, with a particular focus on seventeenth-century Bolognese painting. My research also examines late Baroque art in imperial Austria. My dissertation is the first study to investigate the significance of the vast collection of artwork and foreign curiosities which crossed cultural boundaries and political borders to reach the Belvedere, Prince Eugene of Savoy’s (1663-1736) magnificent garden palace in Vienna that echoes Versailles. Currently, I am expanding my work on the Belvedere’s rarities. Especially Chinese porcelain and Far Eastern textiles that Prince Eugene received via the Ostend East India Company. Exploring the Belvedere’s gardens and menagerie, I am also interested in the impressive span of Prince Eugene’s living collection and its link to the perennial dialogue between art and nature that facilitated successful embassies during the early modern era, specifically during the Tulip Period (1718-1730). Finally, my present work develops our understanding of the popularity of Bolognese quadratura in central Europe and its perception as a science, a painted illusionistic spectacle that engages viewers by challenging their perception of objective reality.