David Freedberg


Prof. David Freedberg
The Warburg Institue
Woburn Square
London WC1H 0AB



Academic Background


South African College High School, 1961-65

University of Cape Town, 1966

Yale University, 1966-69

Balliol College, Oxford, 1969-73



B.A.(Yale). Summa cum laude. Honors with exceptional distinction in Classics.

D.Phil. (Oxford). Doctoral dissertation entitled Iconoclasm and Painting in the Revolt of the Netherlands, 1566-1609, supervised by Dr. L.M.J. Delaissé and Professor Sir Ellis Waterhouse; examined by Professor H.R. Trevor-Roper and Mr Gregory Martin.



Lecturer in the History of Art, Westfield College, University of London, 1973-76

Lecturer in the History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1976-84

Professor of Art History, Columbia University and Chair, Department of Art History, Barnard College, 1984-86

Professor of Art History, Columbia University, 1986-

Director, Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University, 2000-

Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art, Columbia University, 2007-

Director, The Warburg Institute, The University of London, 2015-




 Dutch Landscape Prints of the Seventeenth Century, London: British Museum Publications, 1980.

Rubens: The Life of Christ after the Passion (Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, VII), London: Harvey Miller/Oxford University Press, London and New York, 1984.

Iconoclasts and their Motives (Second Horst Gerson Memorial Lecture, University of Groningen), Maarssen: Gary Schwartz, 1985 (reprinted in Public, Toronto, 1993).

Iconoclasm and Painting in the Revolt of the Netherlands, 1566-1609, New York: Garland, l988 (reprint, with new Introduction, of 1973 Oxford dissertation)

The Prints of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Exhibition Catalogue with Introduction and Essays), Tokyo: Tokyo Shimbun, 1989. Includes essays by K. Moxey, J. van der Stock and L. Vergara, and catalogue contributions by K. Belkin and B. Huvane.

The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response, Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 1989 (paperback, 1991); Spanish translation (Cátedra), 1992; Italian translation (Einaudi), 1993; French translation (Monfort), 1998; Polish translation with new introduction (Jagiellonian University Press, Cracow), 2005; Italian translation, 2nd edition with new prefaces (Einaudi), 2009;   Chinese translation (Hunan Fine Arts), 2011; Slovenian translation, 2012; Albanian translation, 2013; chapter 1 translated into Hungarian in Atheneum, Budapest, 1994; chapter 13 reprinted in Writings about Art, ed. C. Gold Calo, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1994; chapter 12 reprinted in Uncontrollable Beauty, ed. Bill Beckley with David Shapiro, New York: Allworth Press, 1998); excerpts from chapters 9 and 12 reprinted in Lives. Gwangju Biennale 2010, Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Gwangju, South Korea, 2010; chapter 14 (“Idolatry and Iconoclasm”) reprinted in Images: Critical and Primary Sources, ed. Sunil Manghani, New Delhi:   Berg/SAGE, 2013;   other chapters reprinted elsewhere.

Art in History, History in Art Studies in Seventeenth Century Dutch Culture, ed. by D. Freedberg and J. de Vries, Los Angeles: The Getty Center, 1992.

Joseph Kosuth: The Play of the Unmentionable, New York: The New Press, 1992.

Peter Paul Rubens. Oil Paintings and Oil Sketches. Catalogue with Essay of an Exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery, New York, 1995.

Citrus Fruit (The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo. A Catalogue Raisonné.   Drawings and Prints in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the British Museum, the Institut de France and other Collections. Series B. Natural History. Part One) (with E. Baldini), London: Harvey Miller, 1997.

Fossil Woods and other Geological Specimens. (The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo. A Catalogue Raisonné. Drawings and Prints in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the British Museum, the Institut de France and other Collections. Series B. Natural History. Part Three) (with Andrew Scott), London: Harvey Miller, 2000.

The Eye of the Lynx: Art, Science and Nature in the Age of Galileo. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002; paperback 2003; Italian translation (Bononia University Press), 2007.

Fungi. (The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo. A Catalogue Raisonné. Drawings and Prints in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the British Museum, the Institut de France and other Collections. Series B. Natural History. Part Two) (with David Pegler), 3 volumes, London: The Royal Collection in association with Brepols, 2006.

Las Mascaras de Aby Warburg, with an introduction by Luis Vives-Ferrándiz Sanchez and translated by Marta Piñol Lloret, Barcelona: Ediciones Sans Soleil, 2013.


“Johannes Molanus on Provocative Paintings,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, XXXIV, 1971, pp. 229-245.

“The Representation of Martyrdoms during the Early Counter-Reformation in Antwerp,” Burlington Magazine, CXVIII, l976, pp. 128-138.

“The Structure of Byzantine and European Iconoclasm,” in: A. Bryer and J. Herrin, eds., Iconoclasm, Birmingham, 1977, pp. 165-177.

“The Problem of Images in Northern Europe and its Repercussions in the Netherlands,” Hafnia. Copenhagen Papers in the History of Art (Proceedings of the 7th International Colloquium in the History of Art), 1976, pp. 25-45

“Rubens and Women,” The Sunday Times Magazine, 26 June, 1977, pp. 30-36.

“Rubens Through Four Centuries,” The Listener, 30 June, 1977, pp. 843-845.

“L’Année Rubens: Manifestations et publications en 1977, état de recherches,” Revue de l’Art, XXXIX, 1978, pp. 82-94.

“A Source for Rubens’s Modello of the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin in            Leningrad: A Case Study in the Response to Images,” Burlington Magazine, CXX, 1978, 432-441.

“Rubens as a Painter of Epitaphs, 1612-1618, Gentse Bijdragen tot de   Kunstgeschiedenis, XXIV, 1976-78, pp. 51-71.

“The Origins and Development of the Flemish Madonnas in Flower Garlands: Decoration and Devotion,” Münchner Jahrbuch der Bildenden Kunst, XXXII, 1981, pp. 115-150.

“The Hidden God: Image and Interdiction in the Netherlands in the Sixteenth Century,” Art History, V, 1982, pp. 133-153 (translated into Japanese, in Studies in Western Art, 2001).

“Prints and the Status of Images in Flanders,” in: H. Zerner, ed., Le Stampe e la diffusione delle Immagini e degli Stili (Atti del XXIV Congresso Internazionale di Storia dell’Arte, 1979, vol. VIII), Bologna, 1983, pp. 39-54.

“Fame, Convention and Insight: On the Relevance of Fornenberg and Gerbier,” The Ringling Museum of Art Journal, (Papers presented at the International Rubens Symposium, 1982), Sarasota: The Ringling Museum, 1983, pp. 236-259.

“Paintings or Prints? Experiens Sillemans and the Origins of the Dutch Grisaille Sea-Piece: Notes on a Rediscovered Technique,” Print Quarterly, I, l984, pp. 149-168 (with A. Burnstock and A. Phenix).

“Charles I, Patronage of,” “Rubens and England,” and “Gentileschi, Orazio,” in:  Encyclopedia of British Art, London: Thames and Hudson, 1985, pp. 55, 97, 213-214.

“Assessing Response,” in: Art in Culture, ed. A. Balis et al., Ghent, 1985, pp. 357-370.

Translation of and Commentary on Jan de Bisschop’s Introductions to his Paradigmata   Graphices and Signorum Veterum Icones, ed. J.G. van Gelder, I.I.E. van Gelder Jost and K. Andrews, Doornspijk: van Coevoerden, 1985.

“De Kunst en de Beeldenstorm, 1525-1580. De Noordelijke Nederlanden” / “Art and Iconoclasm, 1525-1580. The Case of the North Netherlands,” Introductory essay in [Cat. Exhib.], Kunst voor de Beeldenstorm. Noordnederlandse Kunst 1525-1580, ed. J.P. Filedt Kok et al., Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1986, pp. 39-84.

“Aertsen, Heemskerck en de crisis van de Kunst in de Nederlanden,” Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum, XXXV, 1987, pp. 224-241.

“The Problem of Classicism: Ideology and Power,” Art Journal, XLVII, No. 1, 1988, pp. 1-6. Introductory essay to volume of the Art Journal devoted to The Problem of Classicism, ed. David   Freedberg.

“From Hebrew and Gardens to Oranges and Lemons: Giovanni Battista Ferrari and Cassiano dal Pozzo” in: Cassiano dal Pozzo: Atti del Seminario Internazionale di Studi, ed. F. Solinas, Rome: De Luca, 1989, pp. 37-72.

“Cassiano dal Pozzo, Natural Historian,” and “Cassiano dal Pozzo’s Drawings of Citrus Fruits,” in: Il Museo Cartaceo di Cassiano dal Pozzo. Cassiano Naturalista, Quaderni Puteani, I, 1989, pp. 10-36.

“Science, Commerce and Art: Neglected Topics at the junction of History and Art        History”, in D. Freedberg and J. de Vries, eds., Art in History, History in Art. Studies in    Seventeenth Century Dutch Culture, The Getty Center: Los Angeles, 1991.   Updated and better-illustrated version published as “Science, Trade and Art”, in Paolo     Herkenhoff,ed., Brazil and the Dutch 1630-1654, Rio de Janiero: Sextante Artes,          1999, pp. 192-217

“Cassiano on the Jewish Races of Rome,” Quaderni Puteani, 3, II, 1992, pp. 41-56.

“Ferrari on the Classification of Oranges and Lemons,” in: Documentary Culture. Florence and Rome from Grand-Duke Ferdinand I to Pope Alexander VII. Papers from a Colloquium held at the Villa Spelman, Florence, 1990 (Villa Spelman Colloquia, 3), ed. E. Cropper, G. Perini, and F. Solinas, Bologna, 1992, pp. 287-306 (translated and revised as “Gli Agrumi di Giovanni Battista Ferrari,” in: E. Baldini, ed., Mito, arte e scienza nella Pomologia italiana, Roma: Consiglio Nazionale di Ricerca, 2008 ed. E. Baldini, pp. 127-155).

“Rubens: Madonna Surrounded by Saints,” in: Flemish Paintings in America, Antwerp-New York: Mercatorfonds, 1992.

“Kunst und Gegenreformation in den südlichen Niederlanden, 1560-1660,” in: Von Bruegel bis Rubens. Das goldene Jahrhundert der flämischen Malerei, Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum/Vienna, Kunst-historisches Museum/Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 1992-1993, pp. 55-71.

“Censorship Revisited,” Res, 21, 1992, pp. 5-11.

“The Movements of the Soul,” in: Philip Trager, Dancers, Boston: Bullfinch Press, 1992.

“Iconoclasm and Idolatry,” in: The Oxford Dictionary of Aesthetics, ed. D.E. Cooper, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

“Van Dyck and Virginio Cesarini: A Contribution to the Study of Van Dyck’s Roman Sojourns,” Studies in the History of Art, 46, Van Dyck 350, ed. Susan J. Barnes and Arthur K. Wheelock, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994, pp. 152-174.

“Cassiano and the Art of Natural History,” in: The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo, The British Museum, London, 1993, pp. 141-154.

“Painting and the Counter Reformation in the Age of Rubens,” in: The Age of Rubens, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1993, pp. 131-146.

“Imitation and its Discontents,” in: Künstlerischer Austausch/Artistic Exchange. Akten des XVIII. Internationalen Kongresses für Kunstgeschichte. Berlin, l992, ed. Thos. W. Gaehtgens, Berlin, 1993, pp. 483-491.

“The Classical: Concept and Ideology,” Brochure accompanying: In a Classical Vein: Works from the Permanent Collection, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1993-1994.

“The Failure of Colour,” in: Sight and Insight. Essays on Art and Culture in honour of   E.H. Gombrich, ed. John Onians, London: Phaidon, 1994, pp. 245-262.

“Context, Visuality, and the Objects of Art History,” Art Bulletin, LXXVI, 1994.

“Poussin et Sienne,” Catalogue Exposition Nicolas Poussin, ed. Pierre Rosenberg et. al., Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1994, pp. 62-68.

“Claus Sluter’s Mourners,” Art News, January, 1995.

“Holy Images and Other Images,” in: The Art of Interpreting (Papers in Art History from the The Pennsylvania State University), Ed. Susan C. Scott, University Park (Pennsylvania): The Pennsylvania State University, 1996, pp. 68-87.

“Ferrari and the Pregnant Lemons of Pietrasanta,” in: Il Giardino delle Esperidi. Gli       agrumi nella storia, nella letteratura e nell’arte, eds. A. Tagliolini e M. Azzi Visentini, Florence: Edifir, 1996, pp. 41-58.

“Poussin, Ferrari, Cortone et l’Aetas Florea,” in: Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). Actes du Colloque Poussin au Musée du Louvre….19-21 octobre 1994, ed. A. Mérot, Paris: La documentation Française, 1996, I, pp. 337-362.

“Rubens and Titian: Art and Politics,” in: Titian and Rubens: Power, Politics, and Style, Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998, pp. 29-66.

“Iconography between the History of Art and the History of Science: Art, Science and the Case of the Urban Bee,” in Peter Galison and Caroline Jones, eds., Picturing Science Producing Art, London: Routledge, 1998, pp. 272-296.

“The Limits of Translation,” Res, XXXIV, Autumn, 1998, pp. 71-75.

“Rubens: The Arch of Ferdinand,” in: Henry A. Millon, ed. The Triumph of the Baroque, Architecture in Europe 1600-1750, Venice-Washington-Montreal-Marseille, 1999, pp. 528-529.

“De l’effet de la musique, aux effets de l’image; ou pourquoi les affetti ne sont pas les modes,” in Le Tasse, Actes du Colloque….au Musée du Louvre….13-14 novembre, 1996, Paris: La documentation Française, 1999, pp. 311-338.

“The Paper Museum,” Natural History, 10/99, pp. 58-62.

“Les Images dans les Rêves,” in: Olivier Christin and Dario Gamboni, eds., Crises de l’image religieuse/Krisen religiöser Kunst, Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 1999, pp. 33-53.

“Del nominare i fiori: Ferrari, Poussin e la storia della storia naturale,” in: Luciano Morbiato, ed., Quaderno di dieci anni, Gruppo Giardino Storico dell’Università di Padova, Padua: Università degli Studi, 2000, pp. 57-84.

“The Power of Wood and Stone,” (on Taliban destruction of art), The Washington Post, Outlook, Sunday, March 25, 2001, p. B2.

“E.H. Gombrich and Erwin Panofsky,” in “Speaking Volumes,” Art News, November 2002, p. 184.

“Apollo, David, Santa Cecilia: musica y pintura en algunas obras de Poussin en el Prado,” in: Miguel Zugaza, intr., Historias Immortales, Madrid: Fundacion Amigos del Prado, 2002, pp. 239-260.

Damnatio Memoriae: Why Mobs Pull Down Statues,” The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2003, p. D10.

“Against Cliché. Glenn Brown and the Possibilities of Painting,” in: Glenn Brown, New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2004.

“La ‘Danza de aldeanos’ de Rubens en el Prado,” in Historias Mortales. La vida cotidiana en el arte, Madrid, Prado, 2004, pp. 128-142.

“Pathos a Oraibi: Ciò che Warburg non vide,” in: Claudia Cieri Via and Pietro Montani, eds., Lo Sguardo di Giano, Aby Warburg fra tempo e memoria, Turin: Nino Aragno, 2004, pp. 569-611 (translated into Spanish in Revista Sans Soleil – Estudios de la Imagen, 2013).

“Warburg’s Mask: A Study in Idolatry,” in: M. Westerman, ed. Anthropologies of Art, Williamstown: Clark Institute, 2005, pp. 3-25 (translated into Polish in Konteksty, Polska Sztuka Ludowa, 2011, 65, 2-3 (293-4), pp. 70-82, and into French in “La Masque de Warburg: une étude sur l’idolatrie, in Emanuel Alloa, ed., Penser l’image II,   Paris:   Presse du réel, 2015, pp. 103-150).

“Composition and Emotion,” in Mark Turner, ed., The Artful Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 73-89.

“Why Connoisseurship Matters,” in: Katlijne van Stighelen, ed., Munuscula Discipulorum: Essays in Honour of Hans Vlieghe, Turnhout: Brepols, 2006.

“Empatia, movimento ed emozione,” in: G. Lucignani and A. Pinotti, eds., Immagini della Mente. Neuroscienze, arte, filosofia, Milan: Cortina, 2007, pp. 13-68.

Freedberg, D. and Gallese, V. 2007. “Motion, Emotion and Empathy in Esthetic Experience,” Trends in Cognitive Science, May 2007, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 197-203 (translated in Prometeo, 26, 103, 2008, pp. 52-59, and in Teorie dell’immagine. Il dibattito contemporaneo, eds. A. Pinotti and A. Somaini, Milan: Cortina, 2009.

Gallese, V. and Freedberg, D., “Mirror and Canonical Neurons are Crucial Elements in Esthetic Response,” Trends in Cognitive Science, May 2007, Vol. 11, No. 7, p. 6 (reprinted in Prometeo, 26, 103, 2008, pp. 52-59; and again, with commentary, in A. Pinotti and A. Somaini, eds., Teorie dell’immagine. Il dibattito contemporaneo, Milan: Raffaello Cortina, 2009, pp. 331-351).

“Empathy, Motion and Emotion,” in: K. Herding and A. Krause Wahl, eds., Wie sich Gefühle Ausdruck verschaffen: Emotionen in Nahsicht, Berlin: Driesen, 2007, pp. 17-51.

“Empatia, Movimento ed Emozione” in: Franziska Nori and Martin Steinhoff, eds.,   Sistemi Emotivi. Artisti contemporanei tra emozione e ragione, Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 2007, pp. 38-61.

“Antropologia e storia dell’arte: la fine delle discipline?” Ricerche di Storia dell’arte, 94, 2008, pp. 5-18 (translated into Spanish as “Antropología e Historia del Arte: ¿El fin de las Disciplinas?” in Revista Sans Soleil – Estudios de la Imagen, 5, 1, pp. 31-46).

“C’è un altro modo di guardare l’arte” Il Giornale dell’Arte, No. 281, November 2008, pp. 64-65.

“Choirs of Praise: Some Aspects of Action Understanding in Fifteenth Century Painting and Sculpture,” in D. Levine and J. Freiberg, eds., Medieval Renaissance Baroque: A Cat’s Cradle for Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, New York: Italica Press, 2009, pp. 65-81.

“Immagini e risposta emotiva:  la prospettiva neuroscientifica”, in :  Anna Ottani Cavina,     ed. Prospettiva Zeri, Turin:  Umberto Allemandi & C., 2009, pp. 85-105,

“Los Retratos de Van Dyck en el Prado: las connexiones españoles y flamencas”, in:  La Senda Espanola de los Artistas Flamencas, Fundacion Amigos del Museo del Prado Madrid: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2009, pp. 287-306.

“Movement, Embodiment, Emotion”, in: Th. Dufrenne and A.-C. Taylor, eds. Cannibalismes Disciplinaires, Quand l’histoire de l’art et l’anthropologie se rencontrent, Paris: INHA/Musée du Quai Branly, 2009, pp. 37-61.

“Memory in Art: History and the Neuroscience of Response”, in: S. Nalbantian, P.M. Matthews and J.L. McClelland eds., The Memory Process: Neuroscientific and Humanistic Perspectives, Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 2011, pp. 337-358.

Battaglia, F., Lisanby, S.H. and Freedberg, D., “Corticomotor Facilitation during Observation and Imagination of a Work of Art”, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2011, 5, 1-6.

Massaro, D., Savazzi, F., Di Dio, C., Freedberg, D., Gallese, V., Gilli, G., Marchetti, A.   “When Art Moves the Eyes: A Behavioral and Eye-Tracking Study,” PloS ONE, May 2012.

“The Case of the Spear”, Art South Africa, 11, 1, September 2012, pp. 36-41.

Umiltà, M.A., Berchio, C., Sestito, M., Freedberg, D., Gallese V. , “Abstract art and cortical motor activation: an EEG study”, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2012, 7 (5).

“Art after Iconoclasm. Painting in the Netherlands between 1566 and 1585”, in K. Jonckheere and R. Suykerbuyk, eds., Art after Iconoclasm. Painting in the Netherlands between 1566 and 1585, Turnhout:   Brepols, 2012, pp. 21-49.

“Sciences Cognitives et histoire de l’art, une coopération en devenir?”, Debate moderated by Étienne Jollet in Perspective 2013 (1), pp. 101-118.

Sbriscia-Fioretti, B., Berchio, C., Freedberg, D., Gallese V., Umiltà, M.A., “ERP Modulation during Observation of Abstract Paintings by Franz Kline”, PLOS ONE, 2013, 8, 10, pp.

“Dürer’s Limbs”, in S. Buck and S. Porras, The Young Dürer. Drawing the Figure. London: Courtauld Gallery/Paul Holberton, 2013, pp. 37-56.

“Zur Repräsentation von Martyrien in Antwerpen Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts”, in Carolin Behrmann and Elisabeth Priedl (Hg.) eds., Autopsia: Blut-und Augenzeugen – Extreme Bilder des christlichen Martyriums Munich: Wilhelm Finck Verlag, 2014, pp. 181-211

“Feelings on Faces.   From Physiognomics to Neuroscience”, in Rüdiger Campe and Julia Weber, eds., Rethinking Emotion. Interiority and Exteriority in Premodern, Modern, and Contemporary Thought (Interdisciplinary German Cultural Studies, Volume 15, eds. Scott Denham, Irene Kacandas and Jonathan Petropoulos), Berlin-Boston: De Gruyter, pp. 289-324.

“Drei Episoden ohne Aby”, Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte, August 2014, pp. 97-104

Kirk, U. and Freedberg, D.   “Contextual bias and insulation against bias during aesthetic rating. The implication of VMPFC and DLPFC in neural valuation”, forthcoming.

Concerto, C., Infortuna, C., Sawah, M., Freedberg, D. Chusid, E., Aguaglia, E, Battaglia, F., “Neural Circuits Underlying Motor Facilitation during Observation of Implied Motion”, Somatosensory and Motor Research, forthcoming.


Books in Progress

Anaxagoras: An Essay on the History of Classification

Modes of Seeing: Mind, Body and Emotion in the History of Art

On the Dance and Architecture of the Pueblo Peoples

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