Dr Caspar Pearson

Senior Lecturer
School of Philosophy and Art History
Dr Caspar Pearson



Caspar Pearson specialises in the art, architecture and urbanism of the Italian Renaissance. In addition, he writes about some aspects of contemporary architecture and urbanism, particularly in relation to the European Union and the process of globalisation. His work also explores issues relating to historiography and exhibitions. Caspar's first book, Humanism and the Urban World: Leon Battista Alberti and the Renaissance City, was published by Penn State University Press in 2011. He continues to work on Leon Battista Alberti and the theory and practice of Renaissance architecture. His current book project, The Classical Disorders, examines material from the Italian Renaissance but situates it in relation to material from other chronological periods and geographical areas. He is on sabbatical leave during the spring and summer terms of 2018.


University of Essex

  • Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Essex (1/5/2013 - 15/12/2017)

  • Director of European Studies, University of Essex (1/8/2008 - 15/8/2017)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Renaissance Art and Architecture

Open to supervise

Leon Battista Alberti

Open to supervise

Urbanism and Town Planning

Open to supervise

Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism

Open to supervise

The European Union

Conferences and presentations

Corresponding with a Chameleon: Bruno Zevi and Leon Battista Alberti

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Rinascimenti: Bruno Zevi (Kunsthistorisches Institiut and Villa I Tatti, Florence), Florence, Italy, 1/3/2018

Reading Alberti: Classical Architecture and Humourless Laughter

Invited presentation, Alberti Ludens: a Conference in Memory of Cecil Grayson, Oxford, United Kingdom, 26/6/2017

Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Speaking Buildings and Religious Reform in England and Italy

Renaissance Society of America, Berlin, Germany, 26/3/2015

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Art and Ideas: I(B) (AR119)

  • Space, Place and Locality (AR120)

  • Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas - Critique and Historiography in the History of Art (AR220)

  • Visualising Bodies (AR345)

  • Curatorial Project (AR347)

  • Dissertation - Final Year Art History and Theory (AR382)

  • Final Year Dissertation Project (AR383)

  • Capstone Preparation Module (AR701)

  • Topics in Art History (AR938)

  • Europe: Myth and Idea (CS102)

  • Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism Capstone (CS301)

Previous supervision

Christopher David Adams
Christopher David Adams
Thesis title: More Alive Than Ever? Futurism in the 1940S
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 20/2/2017
Hugh Cameron Leonard Govan
Hugh Cameron Leonard Govan
Thesis title: Baroque Postminimalism: the Problem of Style in the Work of Robert Smithson, Robert Morris and Gordon Matta-Clark (1965-1980)
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 9/9/2015
Desiree Domec
Desiree Domec
Thesis title: El Castillete of Armando Reverón Site of Creation Versus Site of Oblivion: Strategies of Remembrance of Lost Cultural Heritage
Degree subject: Art History and Theory
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 30/6/2015


Journal articles (7)

Pearson, CW., Humourless Laughter and Classical Architecture: Bruno Zevi on Leon Battista Alberti. Albertiana. XXI (n.s. III) (2)

Pearson, C., The Return of the Giants: Leon Battista Alberti's Letter to Filippo Brunelleschi. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. LXXXIII

Pearson, C., (2017). The Imaginative Struggles of Europe. City. 21 (3-4), 348-366

Pearson, C., (2016). Paul Mellon Centre Rome Fellowship: The renaissance of the Renaissance? Architecture and urbanism between Italy and England. Papers of the British School at Rome. 84, 344-345

Pearson, C., (2013). EUtopia? The European Union and the Parlamentarium in Brussels. City. 17 (5), 636-653

Pearson, C., (2012). New Labour?new renaissance. City. 16 (5), 576-594

Pearson, C., (2011). Philosophy Defeated: Truth and Vision in Leon Battista Alberti's Momus. Oxford Art Journal. 34 (1), 1-12

Books (1)

Pearson, C., (2011). Humanism and the Urban World: Leon Battista Alberti and the Renaissance City. Penn State University Press. 9780271048550

Book chapters (1)

Pearson, C., (2015). Taming the Beast: Alberti on the Origins of Mankind and the City. In: The Founding Myths of Architecture. Editors: Buhagiar, K., Dreyfuss, G. and Bruenslow, J., . Artifice Books on Architecture. 9781907317170

Grants and funding


The renaissance of the Renaissance? Architecture and Urbanism Between Italy and England

The Paul Mellon Centre

+44 (0) 1206 872076


6.137, Colchester Campus