Research Expertise and Interest
art and literature, texts, historiography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Henrike Christiane Lange, Ph.D. Yale University 2015, is an historian of art and literature. Professor Lange’s interests focus on the visual and textual arts and languages in the Renaissance and on the historiography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her joint appointment in Berkeley’s Departments of Italian Studies and History of Art allows her to introduce art historical scholarship into her Italian Studies courses, and the study of literature into her art history classes.
This double approach in teaching reflects Lange’s own academic path. After studying Romance Studies (Italian Language and Literature, Linguistics) and the History of Art at Universität Hamburg and Universität Wien (2000-2008), Henrike Lange finished her German Magister degree with exams in Italian on poetry (Ermetismo), the history of ekphrasis, and narrative theory. She studied literary theory applied to painting and photography with her advisor in art history, Wolfgang Kemp. Lange’s Magister thesis Pisanello’s Perspective: Space and Narrative in his Mural Paintings deals with questions of textuality and visual narrative. At Yale, she completed a doctoral dissertation on Giotto’s Cappella degli Scrovegni, Relief Effects: Giotto’s Triumph, which argues that Giotto drew from specific ancient Roman sources for theological reasons in the context of the Jubilee of 1300. Lange’s dissertation includes thorough discussions of mimesis, of texts by Augustine, Dante, and Petrarch, and Trecento/Quattrocento mysticism.
At Berkeley, Lange introduces a new Italian Renaissance art survey 1300-1600. The lectures show Italy in constant cultural exchange with Byzantium, the regions along the Silk Road, the wider Mediterranean, the North, England, and, finally, the new colonies. Including the study of cartography, manuscripts, and prints, the survey’s narrative is woven into a stream of excerpts from a variety of Italian literary genres and musical examples, showing the visual arts and architecture in their historical context.
Other current projects include studies on frontispieces, on the historiography of relief sculpture, and on the theme of water in Renaissance art and literature. Narratology, language and communication theory, opera, and contemporary Italian film remain in the center of Professor Lange’s interests. In addition to incorporating literature into her global Italian Renaissance art survey at UC Berkeley, Lange will offer courses on visual narrative in mural painting and on the cultural history of triumphs in art and literature.