Frances M. Gage, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Upton Hall 308C
Office: (716) 878-4803

Frances Gage is a historian of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian art and criticism whose research considers the social practices in which art objects are embedded, particularly in relation to health and healing and to labor. She has examined early modern European attitudes towards whiteness and blackness before the emergence of theories of race.

In multiple articles and the book Painting as Medicine in Early Modern Rome: Giulio Mancini and the Efficacy of Art (2016) she illuminates the therapeutic and preventive functions of early modern Italian art. Out of this research an interest in art’s role in diverse theories and practices of healing across the globe emerged. She co-curated with Dr. Christina Neilson the exhibition A Picture of Health: Art and the Mechanisms of Healing for the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College in 2016.

Recent research examines early modern art Italian criticism within broader oral, print and manuscript information networks. 

Current research includes a cultural biography of the important Italian painter Annibale Carracci, whose work has led her to study early modern itinerant laborers and their representations. Additionally, she is investigating cross-cultural exchange between Europe and Persia with a view to analyzing the cultural and artistic impacts in Europe of Catholic missions to Persia.

Her research has been supported by the American Philosophical Society, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Gallery of Art, the NEH, the Newberry Library, the Renaissance Society of America and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Select publications include:

Caravaggio’s Rumore: Fact, Fiction and Authority in Giovanni Baglione’s Lives of the Artists.” Beyond Truth: Fiction and Disinformation in Early Modern Europe. Past and Present 257, supplement 16 (2022): 111-40.

"Artists as Critics, and Critics as Artists: Collaboration and Inclination in Giulio Mancini's Taste Formation." When Michelangelo was Modern: Collecting and the Art Market in Italy, 1450-1650. Edited by Inge Reist. Leiden: The Frick Collection and Brill, 2022.

"It is not so easy to recognize the period and age of paintings': Visual and Textual Evidence in Giulio Mancini's Considerazioni sulla pittura and in Early Modern Connoisseurship." In Zeigen - Überzeugen - Beweisen: Methoden der Wissensproduktion in Kunstliteratur, Kennerschaft und Sammlungspraxis der Frühen Neuzeit. Edited by Elisabeth Oy-Marra and Irina Schmiedel, 63-87. Heidelberg: arthistoricum, 2020. 

Air, Wind, Sun, Spirit: The Cosmology of Guido Reni’s Aurora.” In Who Can Read the Book of Nature? Special issue, Nuncius: Journal of the Material and Visual History of Science 32, no. 3 (2017): 658-82. 

“Chasing ‘Good Air’ and Viewing Beautiful Perspectives: Painting and Health Preservation in Seventeenth-Century Rome.” In Conserving Health in Early Modern Culture. Edited by Sandra Cavallo and Tessa Storey, 237-61. Manchester: University of Manchester Press, 2017.     

 “Human and Animal in the Renaissance Eye.The Renaissance of Animals. Special issue of Renaissance Studies 31, no. 2 (2017): 261-76.            

Painting as Medicine in Early Modern Rome: Giulio Mancini and the Efficacy of Art. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016.

“Visual Evidence and Periodization in Giulio Mancini’s Observations on Early Christian and Medieval Art in Rome.” Remembering the Middle Ages in Early Modern Italy. Edited by Lorenzo Pericolo and Jessica N. Richardson, 257-69. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2015.

Invention, Wit and Melancholy in the Art of Annibale Carracci.The Nature of Invention. Special issue of Intellectual History Review 24, no. 3 (2014): 389-413. 

Baroque Art and Architecture in Italy.Oxford Bibliographies: Renaissance and Reformation. Edited by Margaret King. New York: Oxford University Press.

New Documents on Giulio Mancini and Guercino.The Burlington Magazine 165 (2014): 653-56.

“Giulio Mancini, Caravaggio’s Death of the Virgin and the Madonna Blasphemed.” Caravaggio: Reflections and Refractions. Edited by Lorenzo Pericolo and David Stone, 83-105. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2014.  

“Observing Order,” “The Social Aesthetics of the Gift,” and “Must See: Guidebooks.” Essay and two excursuses in Display of Art in The Roman Palace, 1550-1750. Edited by Gail Feigenbaum. 204-14; 215-16; 287-88. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2014.

“Illness, Invention and Truth in Caravaggio’s Death of the Virgin.” In Gifts in Return: Essays in Art in Honor of Charles Dempsey. Edited by Melinda Schlitt, 337-62. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2012.

“Teaching Them to Serve and Obey: Giulio Mancini on Collecting Religious Art in Seventeenth-Century Rome.” In Sacred Possessions: Collecting Italian Religious Art, 1500-1900. Edited by Gail Feigenbaum and Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, 70-84. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2011.

“‘Some stirring or changing of place’: Vision, Judgment and Mobility in Pictures of Galleries.” Picturing Collections in Early Modern Europe. Special issue of Intellectual History Review 20, no. 1 (2010): 123-45.      

“Complexion and Palette in Giulio Mancini’s Theory of Beauty and his Critique of Caravaggio.” In Da Caravaggio ai Caravaggeschi. Edited by Maurizio Calvesi and Alessandro Zuccaro, 355-90. Rome: CAM Editrice, 2009.

“Giulio Mancini and Artist-Amateur Relations in Seventeenth-Century Roman Academies.” In The Accademia Seminars: The Accademia di San Luca in Rome, c. 1590-1635, CASVA Seminar Papers, 2. Edited by Peter Lukehart, 247-87; 381-87. Washington, DC and New Haven: The National Gallery of Art and Yale University Press, 2009.

“Exercise for Mind and Body: Giulio Mancini, Collecting, and the Beholding of Landscape Painting in the Seventeenth Century.” Renaissance Quarterly 61, no. 4 (2008): 1167-1207.