Associate Professor Erin Griffey

PhD (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London)

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Associate Professor


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. At Honours (postgraduate) level, I teach 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, having supervised 23 completed MA thesis and 5 primary PhDs. Teaching is important to me and I am a huge advocate of my students; four have been awarded prestigious full PhD scholarships—at Cambridge (two students), the Courtauld Institute and Sydney.

Research | Current

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

A specialist in early modern visual and material culture, my research is particularly interested in aspects of adornment and display. I have published widely on the Stuart court, including On Display: Henrietta Maria and the Materials of Magnificence at the Stuart Court (Yale University Press, 2015). My other books include three edited collections: Envisioning Self and Status: Self-Representation in the Low Countries 1400-1700 (Association for Low Countries Studies, 1999), Henrietta Maria: Piety, Politics and Patronage (Ashgate, 2008) and Sartorial Politics at the Early Modern Court: Fashioning Women (Amsterdam University Press, 2019). I am also the editor of Early Modern Court Culture, which will be published in late 2021 with Routledge in the Early Modern Themes series. My current research relates to beauty culture in early modern Europe, including a recent article in Renaissance Studies, ‘The Rose and Lily Queen: Henrietta Maria and the Power of Beauty at the Stuart Court’. I am currently writing a monograph provisionally entitled, Facing Decay: Beauty, Wrinkles and Anti-Aging in Early Modern Europe. This beauty research extends to collaborating with colleagues in Chemistry on the 'Beautiful Chemistry Project' in recreating a selection of early modern cosmetic recipes in the lab and scientifically analysing them. 

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). 

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.

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

Jane Davidson-Ladd, Louis John Steele and the Construction of a European Art Tradition in New Zeland

Victoria Munn, Colour Me Beautiful: Hair Colour and Dyeing in Early Modern Europe

Megan Shaw, A Female Favourite: Katherine Villiers, Duchess of Buckingham (1603 – 1649)

Susannah Whaley, 'No such beauty in the fairest Rose': Cultivating Catherine of Braganza as a 'Green' Consort


Maree Clegg, Eighteenth-Century Restoration of Ancient Sculptures: Questions of Authenticity in the Collection of Charles Townley, 2020

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:

Mirabelle Field, 'Notorious: The Representation and Reception of Barbara Villiers and Louise de Kéroualle at the Restoration Court', 2021

Victoria Munn, ‘Setting the Standard: The Impact of Venetian Beauty on European Centres in the Sixteenth Century’, 2020

Eden Tongia, 'Satyr Play:  An Examination of the Sleeping Nymph and the Leering Satyr', 2020

Kirsten Raynor, 'From the Haarlem Drawings to the Anciennes Indes: Reassessing attribution with Frans Post (1612-1680)' (jointly supervised with Joseph Zizek in History), 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Katherine Bond, ‘Dressing Kinship and Allegiance in Sixteenth-Century Costume Books’, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica Lane, ‘Rembrandt in His Own Words’, 2004

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

Barry Moffatt, ‘Alberti Amongst the Philosophers’, 2002


Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London

Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts, 2019

Areas of expertise

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

Committees/Professional groups/Services


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