Dr Nicola Jennings

Associate Lecturer

Nicola Jennings completed a PhD at The 鶹Ƶ Institute of Art in early 2015 on The Chapel of Contador Saldaña at Santa Clara de Tordesillas:New Proposals about its Original Appearance and Role in the Fashioning of Identityby an Early Fifteenth-Century Converso. Nicola did an MA in Early Netherlandish Painting at The 鶹Ƶ, has worked at the National Gallery, City University, and the Colnaghi Foundation of which she was Director from 2017 to 2021. She is currently Director of the Athena Art Foundation which uses digital platforms to promote pre-20th century art from around the world.

Her principal research interests areIberian and northern European sculpture, painting and drawing in the fifteenth, sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, as well as patronage of these arts by conversos or converted Jews. She is also interested in polychrome sculpture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and recently co-curated The Colour of Anxiety: Race, Sexuality and Disorder in Victorian Sculpture at the Henry Moore Institute.


  • PhD, The 鶹Ƶ Institute of Art
  • MA, The 鶹Ƶ Institute of Art
  • Diplôme de Recherche, Institut Universitaire d’Etudes du Développement, Geneva
  • BA University of Sussex


  • BA3 Special Option Course.El Arte de la Pintura: Art and Theory in Early Golden Age Seville. 2023-2024
  • Lead, Showcasing Art History Lecture Series (January – March) 2023: Flesh, Spirit, Power: The Body in Spanish Art 1400s to 1700s
  • BA2 Constellations Seminar. Medieval Toledo: Exchange and Appropriation in a Multicultural City.2019-2021
  • BA3 Special Option Course.El Arte de la Pintura: Art and Theory in Early Golden Age Seville. 2018-2019
  • BA1 Topic Course. The Arts of Spanish Iberia, 1350-1550. 2015-2018.
  • Teaching Assistant, Foundations (Medieval block), The 鶹Ƶ Institute of Art (Autumn Term 2014)
  • Lecturer, City University, London2005-2009

Research interests

  • The demand for northern European craftsmanship in fifteenth- and early-sixteenth century Iberia and the impact of this on local production
  • Panel painting in fifteenth-century Castile and northern Europe.
  • Sculpture and decorative stonework in fifteenth-century Castile and northern Europe.
  • The patronage ofconversosin fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Castile.
  • The collections of paintings and tapestry belonging to Isabella of Castile and her courtiers.
  • Sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Spanish painting and polychrome sculpture.

Recent and forthcoming publications

“From Altar to Apse: Netherlandish Altarpieces and the Development of the Castilian Retablo,” forthcoming chapter in Netherlandish Carved Altarpieces, edited by Ethan Matt Kavaler, to be published by Brepols in 2024.

“The Use of Colour and the Femme Fatale in Late Victorian Sculpture,” Essays on Sculpture, 81 (Feb 2023), Henry Moore Institute.

“Making a Virtue out of a Necessity: Lorenzo Mercadante’s Use of Terracotta in Seville Cathedral,” in The Materiality of Terracotta Sculpture in Early Modern Europe, edited by Zuzanna Sarnecka and Agnieszka Dziki, Taylor and Francis, 2023.

Review of Luisa Roldán by C. Hall-van den Elsen, Apollo, November 2021, pp. 98-99.

“Imitation, Inspiration or Innovation? Juan de Flandes and the Collection of Paintings of Isabella of Castile,” in Flandes by Substitution:Copies of Flemish Masters in the Hispanic World(1500-1700), proceedings of conference organised by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage of Belgium (KIKIRPA), February 2017, Brepols 2021.

“Reforming the Church and Re-Framing Identity: Converso Prelates and Artistic Patronage in Fifteenth-Century Castile,” in The New Christians and Religious Reform in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, K. Ingram, ed., Brill, 2020.

“Bermejo’s Granada Panel: Sampling the Art of Flanders for the Queen,” in El universo pictórico de Bartolomé Bermejo, proceedings of conference organised at the Museo del Prado in November 2018, Museo del Prado, 2021.

“At Auckland Castle,”London Review of Books42, 11, 4 June 2020.

InventioandImitatio: The Appropriation of Valois Style by aConversoContador Mayor,” inGothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation, Tom Nickson and Nicola Jennings, eds (London: 鶹Ƶ Books Online: February 2020).

“At the National Gallery: Bartolomé Bermejo,”London Review of Books41, 17, 12 Sept. 2019.

ConversoPatronage, Self-Fashioning, and Late-Gothic Art and Architecture in 15th-Century Castile,” inJews and Muslims Made Visible in Christian Iberia and Beyond, 14thto 18thCenturies, B. Franco Llopis and A. Urquízar-Herrera eds. (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2019).

Review of “Bartolomé Bermejo” exhibition at the Museo Nacional del,Burlington Magazine161, no. 1393, April 2019.

“Made in Iberia: A New Look at the Retable of Contador Saldaña in Santa Clara de Tordesillas,” inNetherlandish Art and Luxury Goods in Renaissance Spain,D. van Heesch,R. Janssen,J. Van der Stock, eds. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018.)

Review ofRogier van der Weyden y Españaedited by L. Campbell and J. J. Pérez Preciado,Renaissance Quarterly, Volume 71,, Winter 2018 , pp.1465-1466.

“Mesa, Martínez Montañés and the gods of Sevillian sculpture,” inJuan de Mesa: The Master of Passion, J.L. Romero Torres et al., eds. (Madrid: Coll & Cortés, 2018).

“Identifying the hand involved in aMan of Sorrowsproduced in the workshop of the Master of Artés,” co-authored with Isidro Puig, inLate Gothic Painting in the Crown of Aragon and the Hispanic Kingdoms, F. Fité and A. Velasco, eds. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018).

“’Middle-Class’ Men Who Would Be Nobles in Fifteenth-Century Castile, Flanders and Burgundy,” co-authored with Ann Adams inMemorializing the Middle Classes in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, A. Leader, ed. (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2018).

“Spanish Sculpture and the Beginnings of Renaissance Style,” inAlonso Berruguete: Renaissance Sculptor,N. Jennings, ed. (Madrid, Coll & Cortés, 2017), pp. 11-34.

Review ofRenaissance Gothicby E.M. Kavaler, theJournal of the British Archeological Association, vol. 170, issue 1, 2017, pp. 223-225.

Review ofFerdinandus Dei gracia Rex Aragonum.La efigie de Fernando II el Católico en la iconografía medievalby M. Serrano Coll,andEffigies Regis Aragonum. La imagen figurativa del rey de Aragón en la Edad Media by M. Serrano Coll,Studies in Iconography38 (2017), pp. 238-242.

“Lorenzo Mercadante: Primus Inter Pares of Northern-European Sculptors in Fifteenth-Century Castile,” inLorenzo Mercadante.Virgen del Buen Fin, N. Jennings, ed. (Madrid: Coll & Cortés, 2016), pp. 13-44.

“The Chapel of Contador Saldaña at Santa Clara de Tordesillas and the Fashioning of a Noble Identity by an Early Fifteenth-CenturyConverso,”Hispanic Research Journal, vol. 17, 2016.

Review ofEl pintor Joan de Joanes y su entorno familiar. Los Macip a través de las fuentes literarias y la documentación de archivoby I. Puig, X. Company & L. Tolosa,Immediationsvol. 4, no. 1 (2016).

“Virgin and Childattributed to the Master of Miraflores” inLate Medieval Panel Paintings II: Materials, Methods, Meanings, S. Nash, ed. (London: Sam Fogg, 2015).

Contribution to catalogue entries in Susie Nash,Late Medieval Panel Paintings: Materials, Methods, Meanings(London: Sam Fogg, 2011).

Contribution to catalogue entries inCompton Verney: A Guide to the Collections (Compton Verney: Scala Publishing 2010).


Other activities

  • Co-editor, Colnaghi Studies Journal
  • Member and former committee member and chair of ARTES, Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group.