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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Phone number: +44 (0)1865 483571
Location: Headington Campus, Tonge Block, T317d
Thalia Allington-Wood is an art historian specialising in early modern Italian art with a focus on sculpture. She read English Literature at the University of Manchester and completed her MA and PhD (2019) in Art History at University College London, with a thesis on the monstrous statues of the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo. She is particularly interested in the materiality and wider viewing environments of art objects in relation to their making and reception, canon formation, periodization and what has been termed the ‘visual historiography’ of material culture, as well as issues relating to the environment and feminism. Her MA and doctoral studies were funded by full studentships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She was an Ahmanson Research Fellow at UCLA's Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in 2016 and Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection of Harvard University in 2018. Her research has also been supported to date by awards from the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, UCL, the Society of Architectural Historians and the Sixteenth Century Society. Previously Thalia has worked in museum education, curatorial and research, with positions held at London's Victoria and Albert Museum and The Design Museum. She also teaches at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and University College London, and is currently curating an exhibition with Judith Winter on the artist Edward Allington at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.
HART4006: Art in Oxford
HART5001: Themes in European Art 1450-1700 - 'Renaissance Bodies: Transformed, Constructed, Desired'
HART6002: Advanced Seminar in the History of Art - 'Material Ecologies: Art, Nature and Making'
The sculptures of the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo (c.1550–80) are all made from one type of stone: peperino, a rough and earthy grey-brown rock. It is an unusual substance for sixteenth-century sculpture, yet the physical makeup of the Sacro Bosco is rarely discussed in detail. This essay brings the material of these statues into focus through an art-historical consideration that deliberately embraces the author’s physical encounter with the objects. The immersive experience of Bomarzo is thus investigated through the indivisibility of scholarly and sensory engagement. Exploring contemporary contexts that would have informed how the matter of these sculptures was understood by a sixteenth-century visitor – from natural history to geology and topography – it will be argued that the Sacro Bosco’s rock would have invited the historical beholder to engage imaginatively with the generation of stone and the region’s local history.