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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

Photo of Dr Jamie Edwards

Dr Jamie Edwards

Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture


I am a historian of Western European art and visual culture c.1400-1650, with a focus on southern Netherlandish visual cultures, particularly in Antwerp. A great deal of my work has focussed on the art and social world of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1526/30-69) and his dynasty, especially his sons Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1637/38) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625).

I also have an abiding interest in Italian Renaissance art, architecture and urban cultures, which I also teach, including the annual AHVC field trip to Florence, which I co-lead.

Before joining Exeter in 2019, I was lecturer (2017-19) in the department of Art History at the University of Birmingham, from where I gained my AHRC-funded PhD in 2016. Prior to that I held a lectureship at Oxford Brookes University. 

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My work focusses on Netherlandish art, c. 1400-1650, with particular focus on Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1526/30-69) and his dynasty. I'm working on a book that investigates how Bruegel and his predecessors responded to social and religious upheaval in their art in the decades leading up to the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).  Aspects of this research are published elsewhere.

Recent research and outputs have focussed on peasants and proverbs in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Netherlandish art, which was the subject of an exhibition, and accompanying book (published 2022). The exhibition ran from October 2022 to January 2023, and garnered positive press reviews in local and national media, including for The TimesThe Guardian andThe Spectator; the show and catalogue were also reviewed generously for the international journal Renaissance Studies.

Key issues and themes that interest me are:

- Early Modern art writing and correspondences between art theory and artistic practice;

- sixteenth-century rhetoric and rhetorical manuals/textbooks, principally the literary and educational writings of Desiderius Erasmus, and how these affected artistic production; 

- text-image relations and visual exegesis;

- Early Modern affect and affective response to works of art;

- artistic responses to, or interventions in, Reformation/Counter-Reformation debates.

Research collaborations

For the 2022-23 Brueghel exhibition, I collaborated with colleagues at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, and at the Koninklijk Intituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium | Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique (KIK-IRPA, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage) in Brussels.

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2022 | 2021 |


  • Edwards J. (2022) Peasants and Proverbs: Pieter Brueghel the Younger as Moralist and Entrepreneur, Paul Holberton, London.
  • Edwards J. (2022) Peasants and Proverbs: Pieter Brueghel the Younger as Moralist and Entrepreneur.


  • Edwards J. (2021) Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-69), in Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon.
  • Edwards J. (2021) Erasmus's 'De Copia' and Bruegel the Elder's 'inverted' Carrying of the Cross (1564): An 'abundant style' in Rhetoric, Literature and Art, The Bruegel Success Story Papers Presented at Symposium XXI for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting, Brussels, 12-14 September 2018, Peeters, 369-383.

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External impact and engagement

Contribution to discipline

I am Exernal Examiner for UG Art History (Early Modern focus) at the University of Bristol.  

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