Prof Hanneke Grootenboer

Prof Hanneke Grootenboer

Hanneke Grootenboer (PhD, Visual and Cultural Studies, University of Rochester) is Professor of the History of Art.  


Hanneke works on early modern art, continental philosophy and critical theory, in particular with regard to 17th century Dutch painting and Northern European portraiture. She is interested in art as philosophy, art as a form of thinking, the gaze, subject-object relations and intimacy, the relation between photography and painting, and the meaning of light in painting. Due to her involvement with contemporary art practice (she served as the Head of the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford 2014-16 and was affiliated with the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, the Netherlands) she insists that early-modern art be viewed through the lens of contemporary art and theory.

She is the author of The Rhetoric of Perspective: Realism and Illusionism in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life Painting (University of Chicago Press 2005), for which she received a CAA Milliard Meiss Grant, and Treasuring the Gaze: Intimate Vision in Eighteenth-Century British Eye Miniatures (University of Chicago Press, 2012), winner of a Paul Mellon author and publisher grant and the Kenshur Prize for best work in 18th century studies.

As a Fellow at the Netherlandish Institute for Advanced Studies in Amsterdam 2016-17, she completed her third book, The Pensive Image, which deals with early modern and contemporary painting as a form of thinking. She also received a Leverhulme Research Grant and a Fellowship of the Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, MA) for this project. Before joining the History of Art Department, Hanneke was Andrew Mellon Fellow at Columbia University in New York, and taught at Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Amsterdam and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht (The Netherlands). Her articles have been published, among other venues, in The Art Bulletin, The Oxford Art Journal, and Art History.


Hanneke’s teaching covers a wide range of topics on the overlapping fields of early modern art history, philosophy and critical theory. She offers BA courses on Early Modern Portraiture and on 17th century Dutch Visual Culture, and an MSt (MA) course on Image & Thought.