Adam Jasienski

Art History

Associate Professor of Art History




Adam Jasienski is a specialist in 16th- and 17th-century visual culture, particularly in Spain and Latin America. He works closely with the collections of the Meadows Museum, frequently teaching in its galleries. His book, Praying to Portraits: Audience, Identity, and the Inquisition in the Early Modern Hispanic World, examines the intersections of portraiture and religious imagery in the early modern Hispanic world (ca. 1500–1700) and was published with Penn State University Press in May 2023. His new project, on disgust, affect and early modern Catholic image-making, was supported by the Madrid Institute for Advanced Study at the Casa de Velázquez, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti and the John Carter Brown Library. Additionally, he was the 2022-23 Marilynn Thoma Fellow in Art of the Spanish Americas. He is also developing a second project, on the visual culture of the Spanish Inquisition.

He looks forward to working with M.A. and Ph.D. students interested in early modern Spanish and Latin American visual culture.


Ph.D., M.A., and B.A., History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University.

Recent Work

Portraiture and identity; art and the law; sacred art; art and anthropology; censorship; affect and the history of emotions; Inquisition studies

(Forthcoming) “Rostros virtuosos: Los santos y sus retratos en la España e Hispanoamérica de la Edad Moderna,” in Fieramente humanos: Retratos de santidad Barroca, ed. Pablo González Tornel (Málaga; Valencia: Museo Carmen Thyssen; Museu de Belles Arts de València, 2023): 49-63.

Praying to Portraits: Audience, Identity, and the Inquisition in the Early Modern Hispanic World, Penn State University Press, May 2023.

  • Awarded the Lila Acheson Wallace-Reader’s Digest Publications Subsidy from Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

“Disgust and the Sacred Image in Early Modernity,” in Sacrifice and Conversion in the Early Modern Atlantic World, ed. Maria Berbara. Florence, Milan: I Tatti Research Series, Officina Libraria, 2022.

“Velázquez and the Fragile Portrait of the King,” Art History 44, 5 (November 2021): 1-26.

“Francisco Pacheco y una anunciada intervención de Fernando III el santo: Un testimonio sobre el Libro de retratos,” Archivo Español de Arte 93, 372 (October-December 2020): 409-416.

 “Converting Portraits: Repainting as Art Making in the Early Modern Hispanic World,” The Art Bulletin, 102, 1 (March 2020): 7-30.

  • Awarded the 2021 Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize from the College Art Association.
  • Honorable Mention, 2021 Early Career Best Article Prize, Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies.

 “A Savage Magnificence: Ottomanizing Fashion and the Politics of Display in Early Modern East-Central Europe,” Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World 31 (2014): 173-205.

  • Awarded the 2015 Emerging Scholars Publication Prize from the Historians of German and Central European Art (HGCEA), an affiliated society of the College Art Association.

Course list

The Global Baroque  
El Greco to Goya? Spanish Hispanic Painting Visual Culture of the (so-called) Golden Age  
Power and Spectacle: The Arts of the Early Modern Hispanic World  
Portraiture and Selfhood  
 Seminar on Spanish Art  
Seminar on Early Modern Art  

Future offerings:

Meadows Museum Spotlight: Art History One Object at a Time  
Visual Culture in Colonial Mexico  

Adam Jasienski