Dr Harry Mount

Programme Lead for History and History of Art

School of Education, Humanities and Languages


Dr Mount is currently Programme Lead for History and History of Art.

Before joining Brookes in 1995, Harry Mount was educated at the Universities of Cambridge (BA and PhD) and Chicago (MA), and was a research fellow at the Yale Center for British Art and at Christ Church, Oxford.

In addition to his research and teaching, Dr Mount is especially interested in course design and he took a leading role in refashioning the History of Art undergraduate programme for semesterisation in 2004 and again for the University's Academic Progression Initiative in 2009. He has also taken the lead in developing and teaching the innovative third-year History of Art Synoptic module.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

Dr Mount's undergraduate teaching is focused in three main areas: Dutch seventeenth-century painting, British art from 1700 to 1850 and art theory and historiography.

He teaches or contributes to the following undergraduate modules:

  • Reading Art History
  • Making and Meaning in Western Art
  • Making and Meaning in Western Architecture
  • Field Work in Art History
  • Advanced Seminars in History of Art
  • History of Art Synopti


Research interests

The ways in which people looked at, thought about and discussed the visual arts in Britain between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, including:

  • Art theory and criticism in Britain 1660-1830, and their relationship to artistic practice.
  • The reception of Netherlandish seventeenth-century art in Britain, 1660-1830.
  • Attitudes to minuteness (high detail and meticulous brushwork) among British theorists, critics, connoisseurs and artists, 1660-1830.
  • The 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury.
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds.
  • Sir David Wilkie.

Research projects

Immediate research projects

A major study of attitudes to the controversial quality of minuteness in the visual arts in Britain between 1660 and 1830. Aspects of this study have appeared as articles in the British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Oxford Art Journal and British Art Journal.

Forthcoming projects

An investigation into what has been described as 'a curious incident, difficult to explain'; the late seventeenth-century English enthusiasm for 'drolls': small, dark, ugly pictures and prints of scurrilous subjects produced by Netherlandish immigrants.



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Professional information


Conference papers given since 2001:

  • 'The Thirty-Nine Hobnails: Wilkie and Minuteness', symposium on David Wilkie, Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2002.
  • 'The Monkey and the Magnifying Glass: Constructions of Connoisseurship in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain', Universities Art Association of Canada Annual Conference, 2003.
  • 'Gombrich and the Fathers (and Mothers) of Art History', Conference on E. H. Gombrich, Warburg Institute, 2009.
  • 'Reynolds's Camera', symposium on Joshua Reynolds, University of Plymouth, 2010.
  • 'A Warning to the Curious', symposium on the reception of seventeenth-century Dutch art, University of Lublin, 2011.
  • 'Shaftesbury v. Richardson: a Counterfactual Exercise', symposium on the 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, University of Lublin, 2014.
  • 'Leonardo's Treatise and the Empirical Undertow in British Art Theory', Leonardo in Britain conference, National Gallery / Warburg Institute, 2016.