Stockholm university

Peter GillgrenProfessor

About me

Anders Zorn professor of Art History at Stockholm University since 2007.

PhD in 1995 from Uppsala University with a dissertation on painted memorial tablets in Early Modern Sweden.

Between 1998 and 2007 lecturer of Art History at Gotland University.


My reserach is focused on Renaissance and Baroque art and on the theories and histories of the art historical discipline. In 2009 appeared a book on art and identity in 16th century Sweden. A book length study of spectatorship and site specificity in relation to Federico Barocci's art was published by Ashgate in 2011. It was published as a paperback by Routledge in 2016.

In 2017 a book on Michelangelo and multi-media was published by Nordic Academic Press.

I am also doing research on the art historian Felix Horb (Prague 1890 - Stockholm 1958) who belonged to the Vienna school. A biography on Horb was published in Swedish in 2022.

Beside Early Modern art and art theory I am interested in contemporary art, music and multi-media.

Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • By the Dead Body of Christ: Representation and Spectacle

    2021. Peter Gillgren. Indifferent Things? Objects and Images in Post-Reformation Churches in the Baltic Sea Region, 105-117

    Read more about By the Dead Body of Christ
  • Felix Horb

    2019. Peter Gillgren. Journal of Art Historiography (21)


    With his publications on architectural representations in Late Medieval painting, Felix Horb (1890–1958) positioned himself in relation to his teacher Max Dvořák, his close colleague Hans Sedlmayr and the studies of Erwin Panofsky. Founding his work on a historic-genetic methodology, Horb demonstrated its relevance for understanding important aspects of Giotto’s art and the rise of Renaissance perspective. In close contact with many renowned art historians of the earlier twentieth century, Horb’s work is important not only in itself but also for its critical stand in relation to these scholars. Refuting both the history of style and iconology, Horb took a constructivist approach to art history that was founded in the New Vienna School, and was at the same time highly original.

    Read more about Felix Horb
  • Siting Michelangelo's Last Judgment in a Multimedia Context

    2011. Peter Gillgren. Konsthistorisk Tidskrift 80 (2), 65-89


    Michelangelo's Last Judgment is a site-specific work. The fresco was painted in 1535-1541 for permanent installation in the Sistine chapel and conceived as part of a multimedia spectacle, involving the singing of Costanzo Festa's Miserere (a forerunner to Allegri's better known piece) and the gradual darkening of the chapel the famous tenebrae ceremony. Several of the painting's characteristics can be explained as the result of the artist optimizing his work to function within this very context. The study is based on witness reports of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, as well as sixteenth-century sources on the art, music and ceremonies of the Sistine chapel. Special consideration is given to the tapestries by Raphael and their relationship to Michelangelo's work.

    Read more about Siting Michelangelo's Last Judgment in a Multimedia Context

Show all publications by Peter Gillgren at Stockholm University