Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wolf

Managing Director

Phone: +39 055 24911-49
Fax: +39 055 24911-66

Gerhard Wolf is scientific member of the Max Planck Society and director at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (since 2003). He received his PhD degree in art history from the University of Heidelberg 1989, and completed his habilitation in Berlin in 1994. He held the chair of art history at Trier University from 1998 to 2003. His numerous guest professorships took him to Paris (EHESS), to Rome (Bibliotheca Hertziana), Vienna, Basel, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Jerusalem, Mendrisio, Harvard University, Lugano, Chicago University, Istanbul (Boğaziçi University), Delhi (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Zurich (Heinrich Wölfflin Lectures) and New York (Columbia University). Since 2009, he has been a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He was honorary professor at Humboldt University Berlin from 2008 to 2020 and a member of the Scientific Commission of the Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities) from 2013 to 2019. 

  • Concepts and practices of images and things in a transcultural perspective
  • Ecologies, Catastrophes, Art Histories
  • Mediterranean and global art histories
  • Interrelations between artistic and scientific world views
  • Sacred topographies in an interreligious perspective
  • Scientific Advisory Board of the Research Campus Dahlem – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Heritage Foundation) (since 2021)
  • International Advisory Board of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (since 2018)
  • Scientific Advisory Board of the Fondazione Palazzo Magnani (since 2017)
  • Scientific Advisory Board of the Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (Germany's documentation center for art history) (since 2010)
  • Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (since 2009)

Gerhard Wolf has served on highly renowned boards and commissions for the European Science Foundation, European Research Council, German Research Foundation, Getty Research Institute, Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (Bar-Ilan University), Minerva Centers Committee, Minerva Fellowship Committee, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, International Center of Medieval Art, Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation, Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities) and others. 

  • Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte (Berlin) (since 2020)
  • Series Editor (with Hannah Baader and Michele Bacci) of Mediterranean Art Histories. Studies in Visual Cultures and Artistic Transfers from Late Antiquity to the Modern Period (Leiden: Brill) (since 2012) 
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Rivista d'Arte (since 2010)
  • Annales de Investigaciones Esteticas (Mexico) (since 2003)
  • Rivista di Iconologia (Florence, Pisa) (since 2002)
  • Board of Contributing Editors, Res (Harvard University) (since 2002)
  • Honorary Member of CAIA (Centro Argentino de Investigadores de Arte) (since 2007)
  • Honorary Member of the Amici delle Pietre Dure, Florence (since 2005)
  • Honorary Member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence (since 2004)
  • "Hanno und Ilse Hahn" Award (1994)
Recent publications (in selection)

Wein und Jade. Eine Trinkschale Shah Jahans im Verkehr der Bilder und Dinge

In: Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburgs Vermächtnis und die Zukunft der Ikonologie, ed. Andreas Beyer / Horst Bredekamp / Uwe Fleckner / Gerhard Wolf, Berlin 2018, pp. 99–111


Image, Object, Art: Talking to a Chinese Jar on Two Human Feet

In: Representations no. 133, ed. Ittai Weinryb / Hannah Baader / Gerhard Wolf, Oakland 2016, pp. 152–159


"In principio velum", am Anfang war das Tuch: Raphaelle Peales "Venus Rising From the Sea – A Deception" und die Bildtradition der "vera icon"

In: Hinter dem Vorhang. Verhüllung und Enthüllung seit der Renaissance – Von Tizian bis Christo (Ausstellungskatalog, Düsseldorf, 1.10.2016–22.01.2017), ed. Claudia Blümle / Beat Wismer, München 2016, pp. 132–141


Images Take Flight: Feather Art in Mexico and Europe

ed. Alessandra Russo / Gerhard Wolf / Diana Fane, München 2015


Facing the Wall. The Israeli Palestinian Wall

Avinoam Shalem / Gerhard Wolf, Köln 2011


Other publications

Library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz


in selection

The Art of Containment: On Vessels and Vases in a Transcultural Perspective

Tsuji Sahoko memorial Lecture, Japan Art History Society, University of Tokyo, 28.04.2018


"... armed with shining Falcon eyes". Raptors, terrain and prey

with Christine Kleiter, Workshop "Visual Engagements. Image Practices and Falconry", New York University, Abu Dhabi, 05.04.2018


Riflessi del mondo tardo-antico nelle immagini del Codice Purpureo Rossanese

Giornate di studio "Codex Purpureus Rossanensis: problematiche scientifiche e prospettive di valorizzazione", Rossano, 26.05.2017


Broken Vases, Walking Vessels: Aesthetics and Dynamics of Containment in a Transcultural Perspective, Mostly Premodern

Stoddard Lecture 2017, Berkeley University, 06.04.2017


The Peacock and the Basket, the Marble and the Brick. Architectural ornaments and their materiality in a transcultural perspective. Constantinople to Bukhara (6th to 10th century)

Thirty-Fifth Annual Lecture in Honor of Francis R. Walton, Gennadius Library / The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 16.02.2016

Conference organization (in selection)

"Al tempo de' tremuoti": Cultural Heritage in Seismic Italy, Present and Future

Roundtable (with Carmen Belmonte / Elisabetta Scirocco), Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 22.03.2018


Typographia Linguarum Externarum – The Medici Oriental Press. Knowledge and Cultural Transfer around 1600

Workshop organised within the framework of the project "Die Typographia Medicea im Kontext: Text und Bild als Medien des Kultur- und Wissenstransfers zwischen europäischen und orientalischen Kulturräumen um 1600" (with Eckhard Leuschner), Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, 11.–12.01.2018


The Future is our only Goal. Revolutions of Time, Space and Image. Russia 1917–1937

International conference on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1917 (with Federica Rossi / Naum Kleiman), Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, 09.–10.11.2017


Streets, Routes, Methods I: Reflections on Paths, Spaces and Temporalities

International Conference (with Hannah Baader / Adam Jasper / Stefan Neuner / Gerald Wildgruber), Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, 05.–06.05.2017


Teaching and seminars (in selection)

Spazi e tempi dell'arte medievale (dal IV al XIV secolo)

Seminar, Istituto di Studi Italiani, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, a.a. 2018/19


Florenz: Stadt und Museum

Exkursionsseminar, Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, WiSe 2017/18


Pisa und Genua: zwei mediterrane Hafenstädte (11.–17. Jh.)

Exkursionsseminar, Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, WiSe 2016/17


Exibitions organization (in selection)


(mit Annamaria Giusti / Bernd Roeck), Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, 2013/2014


Imagines en vuelo – Images take flight. Feather Art between Mexico and Europe. 1300–1700

(with Diana Fane / Alessandra Russo), Museo Nacional, Mexiko City, spring 2011



(mit Stefan Weppelmann), Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 2009


Georgia – Medieval Monuments

(with the Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Institut in Florenz), Online Exhibition 2008


Mandylion. Intorno al Sacro Volto

(con Colette Bozzo Dufour / Anna Rosa Calderoni Masetti), Genoa 2004


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