Bryony Bartlett-Rawlings - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Bryony Bartlett-Rawlings

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Bryony Bartlett-Rawlings

PhD student

Thesis: ‘Nicoletto da Modena and the centres of early Italian print production c.1490-1530’

Supervised by Scott Nethersole and Guido Rebecchini 

Nicoletto da Modena (active c.1490-1522) has been described as ‘the most prolific of all early Italian engravers’, and 118 known engravings are currently attributed to him. His life, career, and working practices still remain to be fully assessed. The few archival resources relating to Nicoletto da Modena document him working in Padua in 1497 and 1506, and in Rome in 1507. His last known dated print is from 1522, extending his activity into the 1520s. While a number of studies have been carried out on print production in the later sixteenth-century, little research has been done on Italian print culture in the preceding decades.

This thesis will consider the works of Nicoletto da Modena in relation to those of contemporary printmakers including Andrea Mantegna (c.1431-1506), Giovanni Antonio da Brescia (c.1460-1520), Marcantonio Raimondi (1480-1534), and Giovanni Battista Palumba (active 1500-1516), to investigate print culture in the centres of Padua and Rome between 1490 and 1525. This thesis will look at how Nicoletto da Modena engages with humanist ideas and current interests in collecting and studying antiques through his engravings. The thesis will also consider how the engravings were produced and the role of the printmaker’s signature. Case studies of engravings will investigate the exchange, reworking, and reissue of printing plates to look at questions of artist’s property and market trends, placing these works within the artistic culture of the early sixteenth century.


  • 2013-present: PhD candidate
  • 2005-2006: MA Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. ‘Florence in the Age of Lorenzo de’ Medici’. Supervisor: Professor Patricia Rubin
  • 2001-2004: BA, Oxford Brookes University, History of Art


  • V&A year course ‘Holbein to Hockney’: class on Tudor and Stuart Ornament prints (2013)
  • V&A year course ‘Holbein to Hockney’: class on John Constable sketches and watercolours (2013)
  • Courtauld Summer School: introductory class on master drawings and prints in the Courtauld Collection (2014)
  • Courtauld Summer School: introductory class on eighteenth-century prints and drawings in the Courtauld Collection (2014)
  • Class on Italian and French sixteenth- and seventeenth-century ornament prints for University of Buckingham

Conference papers and lectures

  • Italian Ornament Prints and the fashioning of Castello Orsini-Odescalchi after 1560, given at Early Modern Rome 2, University of California, Rome, 12 October 2013
  • A question of interpretation: Zancarli, Fialetti and Claes Jansz. Visscher’s Verscheyden Aerdige Morissen van Polifilo Zancarli, given at Claes Jansz. Visscher & his Progeny, University of Leiden, 18 January 2013
  • 16th century Ornament Prints and the dissemination of the grotesque, given at New Directions in Renaissance Italy, University of Edinburgh, 2 November, 2012

Recent publications

  • “A drawing by Polifilo Zancarli for an etching by Odoardo Fialetti”, Print Quarterly (to be published later in 2014)
  • “Le Brun, Mariette, and Boulle: drawings and early collecting practices in eighteenth century France” V&A Online Journal (Autumn 2013)
  •  Catalogue entries: Bryant, J (ed.) The Victoria and Albert Museum: Art and Design for All, London, 2011

Other academic activity

  • Organiser of the Post Graduate Graphic art Group at the Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Member of the Postgraduate Advisory Group (since 2014)

Museum and curatorial experience

  • 2013-present: Senior Print Room Assistant, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2012-2013: Assistant Curator, Engraved Ornament, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • 2007-2012: Assistant Curator, Word and Image, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • 2006-2007: Researcher: National Inventory Research Project
  • 2006-2007: Print Room Assistant, Courtauld Institute of Art


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