Art history - Daniel Arasse Research Grant

Théo de Luca

Théo de Luca

04/11/2023 / 04/12/2023
Start of residency 04/11/2023
End of residency 04/12/2023

Théo de Luca is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art at Yale University, where he is preparing a doctoral dissertation on seventeenth-century French painter Nicolas Poussin under the supervision of Professor Nicola Suthor. His debut book, A New Spirit in Painting, 1981: On Being an Antimodern, was published in 2020 by Walther König in Cologne. It accounts for the history of painting in the 1970s, featuring an essay he authored and a series of interviews he conducted with key figures from the period, such as Georg Baselitz, Jean-Louis Froment, Sir Norman Rosenthal, and Sir Nicholas Serota. In parallel with his research, Théo de Luca is active in art criticism, writing on contemporary American and European painting and regularly engaging in conversations with artists, notably for the Michael Werner and Almine Rech galleries in Paris, London, Berlin, and New York. He holds an M.A. in History of Art from University College London and a B.A. in History of Art and Archaeology from the Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne, which he was awarded after completing his years of Lettres Supérieures and Première Supérieure at the Lycée Montaigne in Bordeaux, his hometown.

His project at the Villa Medici
While in residence at the Villa Medici, Théo de Luca will pursue the research and writing of the first chapter of his doctoral dissertation. This chapter focuses on the two sets of the Seven Sacraments that Nicolas Poussin painted for Cassiano dal Pozzo (1636–1642) and Paul Fréart de Chantelou (1644–1648). It examines how the Seven Sacraments bear witness to an archaeological imagination, forming Poussin’s pictorial and idiosyncratic discourse on ancient Rome and early Christianity, which is to say, a discourse on time and history. As such, the works are considered as the coalescence of diverse historical times in the realm of the visible. They are perceived as a stance in painting vis-à-vis seventeenth-century Roman antiquarians’s debates, which Poussin was familiar with. In summary, this study highlights a painter, Nicolas Poussin, whose work embraces a long historical span, from Antiquity to the seventeenth century. To complete his project, Théo de Luca will build on Rome’s position as a center for the renewal of studies on seventeenth-century Roman and European antiquarians, as well as the extensive collections on the subject available in Roman libraries and archives.

His website

© Théo de Luca