Bernadine Barnes

Bernadine Barnes

Bernadine Barnes
Department Chair, Professor
Renaissance Art History
(336) 758-5303
Office: Scales Fine Arts Center 106


Bernadine Barnes teaches the history of art in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. She is particularly interested in how artists direct their works toward specific types of viewers or buyers, and how critics articulate the expectations of various audiences. Her most recent book, Michelangelo and the Viewer in his Time, shows how Michelangelo himself considered settings and viewers in designing works like the David, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and St. Peter’s.  Her other interests include representations of women in the Renaissance, artists as entrepreneurs, and cultural encounters in the Early Modern Mediterranean.

Selected Publications

Michelangelo and the Viewer in his Time (London: Reaktion Books, 2017).

•“The Understanding of a Woman: Vittoria Colonna and Michelangelo’s Christ and the Samaritan Woman,” Renaissance Studies, forthcoming, summer, 2013.

Michelangelo in Print: Reproductions as Response in the Sixteenth Century (Farnham, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2010).

•“Skin, Bones, and Dust: On the Self-Portraits in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment,” Sixteenth Century Journal, 35 (2004), 969-986.

Michelangelo’s Last Judgment: The Renaissance Response (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

EVA / AVE: Women in Renaissance and Baroque Prints (Washington and New York, 1990). Co-author with H. Diane Russell.

•“Aretino, the Public, and the Censorship of the Last Judgment,” in Suspended Licenses: Studies in Censorship and the Visual Arts, ed. Elizabeth Childs (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997), 59-84.

•“Metaphorical Painting: Michelangelo, Dante, and the Last Judgment,” Art Bulletin 77 (1995), 64-81.


ART 103. History of Western Art
ART 258. The History of Prints
ART 265. Art and Life in Renaissance Europe
ART 266. Art in the Age of Giotto, Dante, and the Plague
ART 267. Early Italian Renaissance Art
ART 268. High Renaissance and Mannerist Art
ART 270. Northern Renaissance Art
ART 272. Baroque Art
ART 394. Issues in Art History
ART 396. Art History Seminar. Topics vary. Past seminar topics include “Cities of Art: Florence, Rome, Venice” and “Leonardo and his World.”
Upcoming Courses
Spring, 2019: ART 265. Art and Life in Renaissance Europe, WF 12:30-1:45
This course is an introduction to visual culture in Italy, Flanders, and other European centers in the Renaissance, concentrating on the 15th and early 16th centuries. We will emphasize the functions of art in the home, the church, and the political arena; how individuals and groups were represented in art; and how images were used to disseminate discoveries about science and world explorations.  We will emphasize connections between Italy and Flanders, and between Europe and other cultures.
Summer Session 2: ART 103. The History of Western Art–Online
The visual arts of Europe and America provide a fascinating entry into a study of the history, religion, and ideas that have shaped our culture. In this course you will learn about some of the greatest masterpieces of the western tradition, beginning with art and architecture of the ancient world, and ending with the art of our own time.
This course will be taught entirely online. You do not need to be on campus to enroll–in fact, I hope you’ll be able to visit museums and sites wherever you are in the summer.