Formerly Ashmolean Getty Paper Project Research Fellow

Portrait of Rachel Boyd

E-mail: rachel.boyd@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Academia.edu page

Research summary

My research focused on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, with particular interests in techniques, workshop practice, and the roles that works of art play in religious culture. At the Ashmolean, I contributed to the Italian Drawings Project. Working closely with Prof. Catherine Whistler, I was studying and writing about the Museum’s collection of 17th- and 18th-century Italian drawings. Our research will be made available online and will lead to a subsequent print catalogue.

My doctoral dissertation examined Italian Renaissance glazed terracotta sculpture, focusing on the four-generation Della Robbia family workshop. In connection with my Ph.D., I studied and published on the art of Renaissance hospitals, sculptors’ models and drawings, and polychrome sculpture. I have also contributed research to two recent exhibitions: Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini: Sculptors’ Drawings from Renaissance Italy (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2014–2015), and Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2016–2017).


I received a Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in Italian and History of Art from Yale University. Before coming to Oxford, I lectured at the University of Edinburgh and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University.

Featured publications

2022 Achieving Consistency: Drawings, Models, and the Transmission of Knowledge in the Della Robbia Workshop, in M. Cole, A. Debenedetti, and P. Motture, eds., Creating Sculpture: Renaissance Drawings and Models (V&A Publishing, 2022), pp. 74–91.

2022 'A Rare Sixteenth-Century Etching in Honour of Cassy O'Brien,' Ashmolean Magazine 84 (autumn 2022), pp. 32–34.

2020 Narrating Charity at the Ospedale del Ceppo, in Jack Hartnell (ed.), Continuous Page: Scrolls and Scrolling from Papyrus to Hypertext (Courtauld Books Online), pp. 141–157.

2018 Renaissance Polychrome Sculpture in Tuscany, open-access image repository and database including catalogue entries, co- authored with UnaD’Elia and Heather Merla.

2014 Entries on Baccio Bandinelli and Fra Mattia della Robbia, in Michael Cole (ed.), Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini: Sculptors’ Drawings from Renaissance Italy (London: Paul Holberton), pp. 152–155, 168–171.

Featured projects

Italian Drawing Project