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Marcia Pointon is Professor Emeritus of History of Art at the University of Manchester UK and Research Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She lives in central London and in Northern Tuscany and works as a writer and research consultant. Having studied both English and History of Art, her professional interests range widely across many aspects of visual culture, imagery and representation in Western media from around 1700 to the present day. She has written on Portraiture, Landscape, Book Illustration, the Body in Representation, Gender and Imagery and on the interrelations between the applied arts of jewellery and other forms of historical visual evidence. Marcia Pointon's 2009 book about jewels in art and literature explores both the materiality of gems and jewellery and the economics and politics of a culture of surface display that functioned across national boundaries and encompassed simultaneously both ancient traditional bodies of knowledge and new scientific approaches to the world (see Brilliant Effects below). Her latest book entitled Portrayal and the Search for Identity looks at different ways of approaching portraiture, including in relation to the material culture of dress (click on link below). A fully revised History of Art: A Students' Handbook fifth edition was published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis) in March 2014. She is currently working on a book titled Diamond to be published in Reaktion Books' series 'Earth' as well as a research paper on Rubens's interest in precious stones. Marcia is a member of the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum's International Advisory Board, the National Portrait Gallery's research advisory group and the Public Catalogue Foundation/University of Glasgow Oil Paintings Expert Network. 2014-15 Marcia Pointon holds a Leverhulme Emeritus Research fellowship to work on her book Diamond.

Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 426, ill. 371 (ISBN 978-0-300-14278-5) WINNER OF HISTORIANS OF BRITISH ART BOOK PRIZE 2011- For contents click on Sample Documents in the menu bar.

Portrayal and the Search for Identity, London, Reaktion Books, 2013 pp. 272, ill. 102 (ISBN 978-1-78023-041-2)

History of Art: A Students' Handbook, 5th edition, Routledge, 2014, pp. 164 (ISBN 978-0-415-63924-8)

Contact Marcia Pointon -


Brilliant Effects cover Portayal cover