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  • Academic staff

  • Professor Christiana Payne

    MA, PhD

    Professor of History of Art

    School of History, Philosophy and Culture

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 483582

    Email: cjepayne@brookes.ac.uk


    After her first degree in Modern History at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, Christiana went on to the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where she gained an MA and a PhD in History of Art. From 2003 until 2006 she served as Honorary Secretary of the Association of Art Historians. She is a Trustee of the Marc Fitch Fund.

    In her teaching, Christiana Payne encourages students to engage directly with original works of art in galleries and museums, to examine their physical characteristics, and the materials and techniques used to create them, as well as thinking about their function and meaning within the societies that produced them.

    Modules taught


    • U68007 Art in Oxford
    • U68023 Field Studies in History of Art
    • U68024 Advanced Seminar in History of Art (Field, Forest, Mountain and Wilderness: Landscape Painting in Britain, Europe and America, c. 1790-1850)
    • U68080 History of Art Synoptic


    Research supervision

    Christiana Payne has recently supervised students working on the following topics: representations of old age in Britain and America, 1870-1910; the impact on landscape paintings of the inauguration of annual exhibitions in London from 1760; and the male opera singer in nineteenth-century British culture. She is currently supervising a project on the art and writings of Frederic George Stephens (1827-1907). She welcomes enquiries from prospective research students wanting to work on late eighteenth and nineteenth-century British painting, particularly on landscape and genre painting.

    For more information on Christiana's research students go to http://www.christianapayne.com/

    Her research interests are in nineteenth-century British landscape and genre painting, with a particular emphasis on the representation of the poor and the relationship of art to its social and political context. She has curated exhibitions at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, the Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham, Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, the Fine Art Society, London, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. With Juliet McMaster, she was co-curator of a new display at Tate Britain, James Clarke Hook and Painters of the Sea (16 December 2006 – 17 February 2008). She worked with Dr Janette Kerr, PRWA, on an exhibition, The Power of the Sea: Making Waves in British Art 1790-2014, which was held at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, April-July 2014, and with Stephen Jacobson and Gemma Brace on a further exhibition at the same venue: Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art, 1760-2017 (June-September 2017). She is co-curator, with Victoria Partridge, of a new exhibtion at the Higgins Bedford: A Walk in the Woods: A Celebration of Trees in British Art, which opens on 30th September 2017.

    Christiana's current research project is on the role of trees and woodland in British and American landscape painting: see http://www.christianapayne.com/blog.


    • Payne, Christiana, Silent witnesses: trees in British art, 1760-1870, Sansom and Company (2017)
      ISBN: 9781911408123
    • Selborne J, Payne C, William Henry Hunt: country people, Paul Holberton Publishing (2017)
      ISBN: 9781911300236
    • Payne C, Ed., The Power of the Sea: Making Waves in British Art 1790-2014, Sansom and Company (2014)
      ISBN: 9781908326577
    • Payne C, John Brett: Pre-Raphaelite landscape painter, Yale University Press (2010)
      ISBN: 9780300165753
      Abstract Website
    • Payne C, Sumner Ann, Objects of affection: Pre-Raphaelite portraits by John Brett, Barber Institute of Fine Arts (2010)
      ISBN: 97810704427358
      Abstract Website
    • Payne C, Where the sea meets the land, Sansom and Company (2007)
      ISBN: 9781904537649

    Journal articles

    • Payne, C, 'John Constable, John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites'
      British art journal XVI (1) (2015) pp.78-87
      ISSN: 1467-2006 eISSN: 1467-2006
      Abstract Website
    • Payne CJER, 'John Brett: a Pre-Raphaelite Imperialist'
      Visual Culture in Britain 16 (2) (2015) pp.154-170
      ISSN: 1471-4787 eISSN: 1471-4787
      Abstract Website
    • Payne C, 'A Mild, a Grateful, An Unearthly Lustre: Samuel Palmer and the Moon'
      Burlington Magazine 154 (2012) pp.330-336
      ISSN: 0007-6287 eISSN: 0007-6287
    • Payne C, 'John Brett's 'Christmas morning, 1866' '
      Burlington Magazine 150 (1269) (2008) pp.813-820
      ISSN: 0007-6287 eISSN: 0007-6287
      Abstract Website

    Book chapters

    • Payne C, 'The first balloon flights: art and science' in Gemma Brace (ed.), Air: visualising the invisible in British art, 1768-2017, Sansom and Company (2017)
      ISBN: 9781911408130
    • Payne C J E R, 'Bewick and Landseer - The Chillingham Cattle in Art' in Paul G. Bahn and Vera B. Mutimer (ed.), Chillingham: Its Cattle, Castle and Church, Fonthill Media Ltd (2016)
      ISBN: 9781781555224
    • Payne C J E R, 'Visions of the Beach in Victorian Britain' in The Beach in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, Ashgate (2015)
      ISBN: 9781472457530
    • Payne C, ''Dreaming of the marriage of the land and sea' :Samuel Palmer and the coast' in Samuel Palmer Revisited, Ashgate (2010)
      ISBN: 9780754667476
      Abstract Website
    • Payne C, 'Images of rural and sea-side life' in Paintings from the Reign of Victoria The Royal Holloway Collection, London, Art Services International (2008)
      ISBN: 9780711229273
      Abstract Website


    • Payne C, review of The Collected Letters of Jane Morris, in Burlington Magazine 155 (2013) pp.265-265
      ISSN: 0007-6287 eISSN: 0007-6287
    • Payne C, review of Wives and Stunners. the Pre-raphaelites and Their Muses, in Burlington Magazine 155 (2013) pp.265-265
      ISSN: 0007-6287 eISSN: 0007-6287
    • Payne C, review of Modernism on Sea Art and Culture at the British Seaside, in Oxford Art Journal 33 (2010) pp.239-241
      ISSN: 0142-6540 eISSN: 0142-6540
    • Payne C, review of Sargent and the Sea, in Oxford Art Journal 33 (2010) pp.239-241
      ISSN: 0142-6540 eISSN: 0142-6540
    • Payne C, review of Irish Rural Interiors in Art, in Apollo-the International Magazine of Art and Antiques 164 (2006) pp.114-115
      ISSN: 0003-6536 eISSN: 0003-6536
    • Payne C, review of Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain, in Apollo-the International Magazine of Art and Antiques 162 (2005) pp.58-59
      ISSN: 0003-6536 eISSN: 0003-6536
    • Payne C, review of Prospects, Thresholds, Interiors, Watercolours From the National Collection at the Victoria-and-albert-museum - Johnson,l, in Oxford Art Journal 18 (1996) pp.91-93
      ISSN: 0142-6540 eISSN: 0142-6540
    • PAYNE C, review of British Landscape Watercolours 1750-1850 - Munro,j, in Oxford Art Journal 18 (1996) pp.91-93
      ISSN: 0142-6540 eISSN: 0142-6540
    • Payne C, review of A Dream of England: Landscape, Photography and the Tourists Imagination, in American Historical Review 101 (1996) pp.488-488
      ISSN: 0002-8762 eISSN: 0002-8762



    Selected conference papers given since 2001

    • “The Spectacle of Dress in Victorian Painting”, Locating the Victorians, Science Museum, London, July 2001.
    • “Smugglers, Poachers and Wreckers in Nineteenth-century English Painting”, Social Deviance in England and France, Maison Française, Oxford, July 2003.
    • “Turner’s Studies of the Waves of the Sea”, Turner 2004: New Perspectives, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, January 2004.
    • “Dreaming of the Marriage of the Land and Sea: Samuel Palmer and the Coast”, Samuel Palmer: a British Romantic Artist Reassessed, Paul Mellon Centre, London, January 2006.
    • "The Empty Beach and the Working Beach; John Brett and Walter Langley in the South-west, c. 1870-1900", 'Twixt Land and Sea: The Beach in Literature, Film and Cultural Theory, University of Berne, Switzerland, June 2009.
    • "John Brett: A Pre-Raphaelite Imperialist", Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, University of Reading, April 2013. 
    • "Constable and the Coast", Coastal Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century, 1775-1914, Faculty of English, Oxford University, March 2014.
    • Keynote address at Underwater Worlds: Aquatic Visions in Art, Science and Literature, Oxford University, September 2015.
    • "John Constable, Samuel Palmer, and Tree Portraiture in the 1820s", The Memory of Trees, University of Liverpool, April 2017.

    Conferences organised since 2001

    • With Leslie Topp and Catherine Whistler, “Making Connections: The Annual Conference of the Association of Art Historians”, April 2001, Oxford Brookes University. 
    • With Catherine Whistler (Ashmolean Museum), “Displaced Objects: Perspectives from the Museum and the Academy”, Annual Conference of the Association of Art Historians, Tate Britain, April 2008.
    • With Dinah Roe (English and Modern Languages Dept), Colin Harrison (Ashmolean Museum) and Alastair Wright (Oxford University), "Pre-Raphaelitism: Past, Present and Future", Ashmolean Museum and St John's College, September 2013.

    Seminar Series organised since 2001

    • With Catherine Whistler (Ashmolean Museum) and Alastair Wright (Department of History of Art, Oxford University), History of Art Seminar series, Ashmolean Museum, from 2005.