Chriscinda Henry

Assistant Professor
Undergraduate Program Director, Art History

Chriscinda Henry’s current research focuses on the relationship between secular art, recreation, and festivity in Renaissance Italy. She has recently completed a book titled Playful Pictures: Painting, Leisure, and Entertainment in the Venetian Renaissance Home, which explores the reception of art as interactive visual entertainment in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Other current projects include a book on the early album amicorum (book of friends) and Northern European cultural tourism in Italy, 1550-1630, and articles on the origins of genre painting and 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 2018-2019 academic year. Fall office hours are Wednesdays 12:30-2:30pm. There will be a sign-up sheet on her office door, Arts W-240. You can also contact her by email at: AHadvisor.ahcs [at]

Selected publications:

“From Beggar to Virtuoso: The Street Singer in the European Visual Tradition, 1500-1600,” Renaissance Studies 32/4 (October, 2018). 

“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.