Dr David Hemsoll

Colleges, School and Institutes


I originally received some training in architecture before I turned to art history, which had long been a fascination of mine. Having been appointed a lecturer at the University of Birmingham in 1990 which was when the Department of History of Art was re-founded, I was then departmental head for eight years (2002-10). I am currently the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Architectural History.

Research interests

Much of my early research was on the Veronese/Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli, on whom I co-authored a major monograph (2004). I have also co-authored an extensive catalogue of the architectural drawings (2014), mainly of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, that formed part of the enormous collection of the antiquarian Cassiano dal Pozzo and are now mostly in the Royal Collection.  Concurrently, I have been working on sixteenth-century architectural methodology, looking at architects such as Raphael and his followers, and focussing in particular on Michelangelo’s architecture in both Florence and Rome, and this has been the theme of a substantial number of articles. I am presently developing some of this work as a monograph which will chart the differing approaches of successive Renaissance architects, from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo, towards Antiquity and the assimilation of the Antique in their schemes. I continue, as well, to take a keen interest in the Barber Institute collections.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I supervise, at MPhil and PhD level, students specialising not only in architecture and architectural theory but also in Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance painting and sculpture.