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Visiting researchers

Dr Rebecca Gill

Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Arts and the Sacred 

Address: The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square


Rebecca Gill is Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Fellow in Art and Religion at the National Gallery, London and Visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for Arts and the Sacred at KCL. Her area of interest is the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance, with a particular focus on the effect of the Counter Reformation on religious architecture in the years immediately before and after the Council of Trent.

Rebecca received her PhD from the University of Reading in the Department of History of Art. Her thesis focuses on the architect Galeazzo Alessi and his contribution to the development of ecclesiastical architecture in the years immediately before and after the Council of Trent.

Prior to joining the National Gallery and Kings College London, Rebecca was Teaching Fellow at Birmingham University in the department of Art History, Curating and Visual Culture, where she taught across the BA and MA programme on topics such as Women and Artistic Culture in the Early Modern Period and Power, Society and Politics: Religious Art in Northern Europe 1400-1600.   Rebecca has also taught at the universities of Reading and Leeds.

In 2012-13, Rebecca held the position of Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, during which time she conducted post-doctoral research on the Sacro Monte di Varallo. 


Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Counter Reformation Art and Architecture
  • The architecture of Galeazzo Alessi
  • The ecclesiastical architecture of Giulio Romano
  • Sacri Monti
  • Architectural Drawing
I am currently writing a major monograph on the ecclesiastical architecture of Galeazzo Alessi and the development of Counter Reformation architecture in the period immediately before and after the Council Trent.  My second research project focuses on the church of San Benedetto al Po, near Mantua, which was redesigned by Giulio Romano in the 1540s under the patronage of the important Church reformer, Gregorio Cortese, and was the original location for Veronese’s altarpiece of The Consecration of St Nicholas, which today hangs in the National Gallery.
Selected publications
‘Early Experiments in Counter Reformation Architecture: Galeazzo Alessi and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta di Carignano, Genoa’, Renaissance Religions, Europa Sacra, no. 23, 2018 (Accepted for publication).

‘Conception and construction: the architectural drawings of Galeazzo Alessi’, Architectural History, vol. 59, 2016, pp.181-219.

‘The Road to Redemption: the reconstruction of the church of San Barnaba and early Church Reform’, North Street Review: Arts and Visual Culture, vol. 18 (2015), pp.7-19.

‘Galeazzo Alessi and the redevelopment of the Sacro Monte di Varallo in Tridentine Italy’, C. Conforti & V. Gusella (eds), AID Monuments Conoscere Progettare Ricostruire: Galeazzo Alessi Architetto-Ingegnere, ARACNE editrice, Rome 2013, pp.101-113.

‘Galeazzo Alessi and the Sacro Monte: architecture and pilgrimage in Cinquecento Italy’, Papers of the British School at Rome, 81 (2013), pp.397-398.


 I currently contribute to the teaching of two modules on the MA in Christianity and the Arts at Kings College London:

  • The Devotional Use of Art in Christianity
  • Art as a Theological Medium
Expertise and public engagement

In my role at the National Gallery I am currently exploring new ways to engage the public in my research activities, particularly through the use of virtual and augmented reality.

I am happy to be contacted by individuals or organisations who are interested in developing public engagement and media activities related to my research.

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