Associate Professor Erin Griffey

PhD (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London)

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Associate Professor


A specialist in early modern portraiture and court culture, I have taught at the University of Auckland since 2002.

My teaching encompasses Renaissance and Baroque art, and includes courses at all undergraduate levels, ARTHIST 114 Understanding Art; ARTHIST 224/324 Power and Piety: the Baroque; ARTHIST 236/336 Artists and Patrons in Renaissance Italy; the study abroad paper ARTHIST 327 Art in Context and at Honours level, two alternatively taught full-year seminars, Art for the City and the Court: Amsterdam, The Hague and London and Rembrandt.

I have done extensive postgraduate supervision, with 18 completed MA thesis supervisions and 4 PhD completions.  Teaching is important to me and I am a huge advocate of my students; three have been awarded prestigious full PhD scholarships—at Cambridge, the Courtauld and Sydney.

Research | Current

  • Early modern art, architecture and decorative arts
  • Court culture
  • The Stuart court
  • Rembrandt
  • Van Dyck

I am best known as a specialist in early modern court culture, especially patronage, material culture and portraiture at the Stuart court. I have published widely in the area, most notably the monograph On Display: Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence at the Stuart Court, published with Yale University Press (2015). I have written articles that have been published in The Seventeenth Century, The Burlington, The Journal of the History of Collections and Studi di Memofonte and contributed to several edited collections. I spend considerable time in the UK and Europe for research. I have given scholarly and public lectures on various aspects of Henrietta Maria’s life, patronage and palaces, including talks at Hampton Court (2013), the Queen’s House, Greenwich (2013), Oxford (2014) London (2018) and the Rubenianum (2012) in Antwerp; for The Society of Court Studies (2011); and at the Universities of Nottingham, Edinburgh and St. Andrew’s (all 2012), Queensland (2017) and Melbourne (2017 and 2018). I am currently editing a handbook on Early Modern Court Culture for the Routledge series Early Modern Themes.

My research interests extend to broader issues around portraiture, and its function and reception, as well as sexuality in art, from the Renaissance to the Present (including an essay on Titian's Danae paintings and a co-written article with Barry Reay on the American artist Edward Melcarth published in History Workshop Journal). I am also interested in early modern concepts and portrayals of beauty and fashion. I have an edited collection coming out in July 2019 with Amsterdam University Press entitled, Sartorial Politics in Early Modern Europe: Fashioning Women.

In New Zealand I have a relatively high profile as a specialist in portraiture, having curated two major loan exhibitions on aspects of New Zealand British portraiture and written the accompanying exhibition catalogues. I have also curated an exhibition of contemporary New Zealand photographs of people involved in the New Zealand justice system, No Free Man: To No One Deny Justice. I have also acted as the New Zealand curator for the Rembrandt Remastered exhibition which has toured Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Whangarei, Greymouth, Napier, Rotorua, Foxton and Upper Hutt. In New Zealand, I have been interviewed for television, radio and newspapers about these exhibitions.

My current research projects relate to female beauty, dress, objects, emotions and rituals at the Stuart court.


Read more about On Display: Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence at the Stuart Court, Yale University Press, 2015

See more on my research, including links to articles and essays.

Teaching | Current

ARTHIST 114 Understanding Art: Leonardo to Warhol

ARTHIST 224 Power and Piety: the Baroque

ARTHIST 324 Power and Piety: the Baroque

Postgraduate supervision


PhD supervisions:


Mirren Brockies, Form and Function: Neckwear in Early Modern Europe

Maree Clegg, The Townley Collection: Restoration and Questions of Authenticity

Jane Davidson-Ladd, Louis John Steele

Nadia Kislitsyna, From Earthquare Baroque to Gothic Revivalism: Colonial Church Architecture in the Philippines


Natalie Bell, The Other Woman: Renaissance: Non-Marriage Portraits in Renaissance Italy, 2016

Jemma Field, Anna of Denmark and the Arts in Jacobean England, 2015

Simon McNamara,Concetto in Rembrandt's Passion Series, 2013

Mary Barker, A Disquieting Presence: The Virgin Mary in Rembrandt's 'Protestant' Art, 2011


MA supervisions:


Victoria Munn, ‘Setting the Standard: The Impact of Venetian Beauty on European Centres in the Sixteenth Century’

Eden Tongia, Early modern depictions of Jupiter and Antiope

Kirsten Raynor, The Anciennes Indes tapestries and the role of Frans Post


Chance Wilson, ‘Rembrandt Prints in New Zealand Collections’, due June 2019

Annie Curtis, ‘Between Sight and Sound in the Dutch Golden Age’, submitted February 2019

Emily Hames, ‘Painted Virtuosity: Rembrandt’s Depictions of Metals’, submitted February 2019

Andrea Dawber, ‘Rembrandt’s History Paintings of Women and Issues of Morality’, 2015

Susannah McEwan, ‘Representations of Catherine of Braganza’ (co-supervisor with Iain Buchanan), 2015 First Class Honours

Renisa Maki, ‘Portraits of American Presidential First Ladies’, 2015. First Class Honours

Hannah Bowen, ‘Greatnesse and Goodnesse from thy Grace Doth Spring: The Portraiture of the Stuart Queen Consorts’, 2013. First Class Honours

Katherine Bond, ‘Dressing Kinship and Allegiance in Sixteenth-Century Costume Books’, 2013, First Class Honours. Awarded Cambridge International Scholarship for her PhD in the Department of History at Cambridge University, UK

Sharnell Aumua, ‘Absence and Presence: God's Handwork and Concepts of Artistry in Early Modern History Painting’, 2011

Deborah Babbage, ‘Companionship and Collaboration in Rembrandt’s Pendant Marriage Portraits, 1632-35’, 2008, First Class Honours. Awarded Top Achiever Scholarship to do her PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 2009-2012

Jemma Field, ‘Portraits of the Winter King and Queen at the Orange Court’, 2008, First Class Honours

Jessica Bell, ‘A Family Likeness? A Comparison of the Picture Collecting of Queen Marie de Médicis of France and Her Daughter Queen Henrietta Maria of England’, 2007, First Class Honours

Mary Barker, ‘Seeing Red: Rembrandt’s “Jewish Bride”’, 2006, First Class Honours

Jo Cooper, ‘New Zealand Old Master Print Collections’, 2006, First Class Honours

Simona Albanese,‘Pietro da Cortona and the Restoration of the Barberini Ceiling’, 2006

Emily Smith, ‘Re-assessing the Role of Colour in Rembrandt’s Oeuvre’, 2004, First Class Honours

Jessica Lane, ‘Rembrandt in His Own Words’, 2004, First Class Honours

Natalie Bell, ‘La Città Dolente: Dante’s Inferno and Its Influence on the Representations of Hell in Tuscan Last Judgments, c.1330-c.1450’, 2003, First Class Honours

Barry Moffatt, ‘Alberti Amongst the Philosophers’, 2002, First Class Honours

Areas of expertise

Early modern art, architecture and decorative arts; court culture; the Stuart court; Rembrandt; Van Dyck

Committees/Professional groups/Services


Board, Auckland University Press

Board, Arts Scholars

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Griffey, E. (2015). On Display, Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence. London and New Haven: Yale University Press. Pages: 372.


Contact details

Primary office location

ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 7, Room 747
New Zealand

Web links