Chriscinda Henry

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Program Director, Art History

Chriscinda Henry’s research focuses on the relationship between art, recreation, and festivity in Renaissance Italy. Her book Playful Pictures: Painting, Leisure, and Entertainment in the Venetian Renaissance Home (forthcoming from Penn State University Press), explores connections between art, literature, music, and theater in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Ongoing projects include a study on illustrated alba amicorum (friendship albums) and Northern European cultural tourism in Italy (1550-1650), and a series of articles on the visual culture of carnival in Florence and Rome under the Medici (1465-1534).

Professor Henry received her MA from Columbia University and her PhD from the University of Chicago. Before coming to McGill, she was ACLS/Mellon Postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and Visiting Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History at Oberlin College. Her recent work has been supported by Villa I Tatti / The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Hanna Kiel fellow, 2016-2017), the Fonds de Recherche du Québec, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Prof. Henry is Undergraduate Program Director in Art History for the 2019-2020 academic year. Fall office hours are Tuesdays 2:30-4:00pm or by appointment via email. There will be a sign-up sheet on her office door, Arts W-240. You can contact her at: AHadvisor.ahcs [at]

Office hours:

Selected publications:

“From Beggar to Virtuoso: The Street Singer in the Netherlandish Visual Tradition, 1500–1600,” Renaissance Studies 33/1 (January, 2019): 136-58.

“Leonardo da Vinci, Parody, and Pictorial Magic.” In Playthings in Early Modernity: Party Games, Word Games, Mind Games, ed. Allison Levy, pp. 73-96. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2017.

“Alter Orpheus: Masks of Virtuosity in Renaissance Portraits of Musical Improvisers,” Italian Studies 71/2 (2016): 238-58.

“What Makes a Picture? Evidence from Sixteenth-Century Venetian Property Inventories,” Journal of the History of Collections 23/2 (2011): 253-65.

“Whorish Civility and Other Tricks of Seduction in Venetian Courtesan Representation.” In Sex Acts in Early Modern Italy: Practice, Performance, Perversion, Punishment, ed. Allison Levy, pp. 109-23. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2010.

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