Steven F Ostrow

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Art History
338A Heller Hall

271 19th Ave S

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Steven F. Ostrow (Ph.D., Princeton, 1987) specializes in early-modern Italian (especially Roman) visual culture, with an emphasis on the post-Tridentine period and seventeenth-century sculpture. He has published on a diverse range of subjects, from late-sixteenth-century tomb sculpture to early-eighteenth-century illuminated manuscripts, engaging issues concerned with patronage, iconography, and historicism; art theory and artistic practices; the interplay among art, politics, science, and religion; and the literary construction of artists’ biographies. His current research focuses on sculpture in Rome between the death of Michelangelo and the emergence of Gianlorenzo Bernini.
Educational Background & Specialties


  • Seventeenth-century Roman art
  • Gianlorenzo Bernini and baroque sculpture
  • Caravaggio
  • Post-Tridentine visual culture
  • Artists' biographies
  • Italian baroque art theory
  • Spanish Golden Age painting
Courses Taught
  • ArtH 1001 - Introduction to Art History: Prehistoric to Contemporary (A Global Perspective)
  • ArtH 1910 - Freshman Seminar (topics vary)
  • Honors/ArtH 2011H – Honors Seminar (topics vary)
  • ArtH 3311 – Baroque Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe
  • ArtH 3312 – European Art of the Eighteenth Century
  • ArtH3335/5335 – Baroque Rome: Art and Politics in the Papal Capital
  • ArtH 8340 – Graduate Seminar in Baroque Art (topics vary)
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Member of the Editorial Board, Art Bulletin: 2011 - 2015
  • Chair, Council of Chairs, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota: 2011 - 2012
  • Member of the Advisory Board, Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota : 2010 - 2015
  • Member of the Editorial Board,, : 2006 - 2010
  • Reader and reviewer of manuscripts (books and articles) for Art Bulletin, Renaissance Quarterly, The Catholic Historical Review, Getty Research Journal, Penn State University Press, Princeton University Press, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Art History, Blackwell Publishers, University of Toronto Press, University of California Press, Jesuit Historical Institute Press, University of Delaware Press, Cambridge University Press
  • Member of the Center for Early Modern History Advisory Board, University of Minnesota: 2013 - 2015
  • Ostrow, Steven F. Art and Spirituality in Counter-Reformation Rome: The Sistine and Pauline Chapels in S. Maria Maggiore . Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. ""Cigoli’s Immacolata and Galileo’s Moon: Astronomy and the Virgin in Early Seicento Rome"." (1996): 218-35.
  • Co-editor and contributor. Dosso’s Fate: Painting and Court Culture in Renaissance Italy. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 1998.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. ""Paolo Sanquirico: A Forgotten Virtuoso of Seicento Rome,“ Storia dell’arte, 92 ." (1998): 27-59.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. ""Isaac Laughing: Caravaggio, Non-Traditional Imagery, and Traditional Identification"." Art History 24 (2001): 646-81.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. ""Playing with the Paragone: The Reliefs of Pietro Bernini"." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 67, (2004): 329-364.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, M. Hall, ed.. ""The Counter-Reformation and the End of the Century"." Rome: Artistic Centers of the Italian Renaissance (2005): 246-320.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. ""The Discourse of Failure in Seventeenth-Century Rome: Prospero Bresciano’s Moses"." Art Bulletin 88 (June 2006): 267-91.
  • Co-Editor and contributor. Bernini's Biographies: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 2006.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, T. Montanari, ed.. "“Bernini e il Paragone,“." Bernini Pittore (2007): 223-33.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, , C. Hess and A. Bacchi, eds. . "’Sculptors pursue likenesses’: The Typology and Function of Seventeenth-Century Portrait Sculpture in Rome,." in Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture (2008): 65-83.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. ""Paul V, the Column of the Virgin, and the New Pax Romana"." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 69 (2010): 352-77.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. "“(Re)presenting Francesco I d’Este: An Allegorical Still Life in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts“ ." Artibus et Historiae 32, no. 63 (2011): 201-16.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, C.D. Dickerson, A. Sigel, and I. Wardroper, eds.. ""'The Fire of Art'? A Historiography of Bernini's Bozzetti ." Bernini: Sculpting in Clay (2012): 75-85.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, L. Pericolo and D. Stone, eds.. "“Caravaggio’s Angels,“." Caravaggio: Reflections and Refractions (2014): 123-48.
  • Co-Editor and contributor. Critical Perspectives on Roman Baroque Sculpture. , 2014.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, L. Simonato, ed.. "The Papal Medals of S. Maria Maggiore, 1605-1741." Le arti a dialogo: Medaglie e medaglisti tra Quattro e Settecento (2014): 181-97.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, C. H. Miner, ed.. "The Ludovisi St. Peter: A New Work by Bastiano Torrigiani in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts." The Eternal Baroque: Studies in Honour of Jennifer Montagu (2015): 409-26.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. "Sculptors' Signatures in Baroque Rome: Some Preliminary Observations." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 77, (2014): 517-44.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. "Pietro Tacca and his Quattro Mori: The Beauty and Identity of the Slaves." Artibus et Historiae, 71 (2015): 145-80.
  • Ostrow, Steven F, E. Levy and C. Mangone, eds. "Bernini's Bozzetti and the Trope of Fire." Material Bernini (2016.): 147-168.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. "Pietro Longhi's Elephant: Public Spectacle and Marvel of Nature." A Golden Age of European Art: Fifty Years of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation (forthcoming 2016.):
  • Ostrow, Steven F. "The Contested Legacy of Michelangelo in Rome, 1564-1635ca." Dopo il 1564: L'eredita di Michelangelo nel tardo Cinquecento/After 1564: Michelangelo's Legacy in Late Cinquecento Rome (2016): 15-35.
  • Ostrow, Steven F. "Giovanni Angelo Frumenti and his tomb ib S. Maria Maggiore: a proposed new work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini." The Burlington Magazine 158 (2016): 518-528.
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, Riverside
  • NEH Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the History of Art (Rome Prize), American Academy in Rome
  • Samuel H. Kress Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei Fellowship, Rome