David Hemsoll BSc (London), BA (UEA), MA (London)

David Hemsoll

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

David Hemsoll is a specialist in Renaissance art and architecture, especially of Venice and Florence. He also has a particular interest in architectural design and theory.


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).



  • Approaches A&B  (1st year)
  • Object and Medium A (Painting and Drawing) & B (Other Arts) (1st year)
  • Ancillary Art and Context A&B (1st & 2nd year)
  • Survey Course: European Art 1400-1500 (2nd year)
  • Special Subject: Michelangelo (3rd year)


  • Critical Approaches

Postgraduate supervision

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.


Much of my research has been 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, mainly of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, which formed part of the enormous collection of the antiquarian Cassiano dal Pozzo and are now mostly in the Royal Collection (to be published in 2012). In addition, I work on sixteenth-century architectural theory, looking particularly at sixteenth-century Italian architects (Raphael, Giulio Romano, etc.), and in recent years I have been focusing particularly on Michelangelo and his architecture in both Florence and Rome, which will be the subject of a forthcoming book. I continue to take, as well, a keen interest in the Barber Institute collections.

Other activities

  • Undergraduate History of Art admissions officer
  • University Prima Facie Appeals Committee
  • External Examiner at the University of East Anglia
  • On the editorial board of Architectural History


  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, Renaissance and Later Architecture and Ornament (The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo, ser. A, n. 10), Royal Collection with Harvey Miller, 2 vols, 2012
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, ‘Fourteen Sheets of Drawings by Sebastiano Serlio’, in Maria Beltramini and Caroline Elam (eds), Some degree of Happiness: Studi di storia dell’architettura in onore di Howard Burns, Scuola Normale Superiore: Pisa, 2010 (ISBN, 978-88-7642-372-7), pp. 273-96 and 733-7
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Raphael’s new architectural agenda’, in R. Eriksen and M. Malmanger, eds, Imitation, Representation and Printing in the Italian Renaissance; Early Modern and Modern Studies, Vol. 3, Fabrizio Serra Editore: Pisa – Roma, 2009 (ISBN: 978-88-6227-111-0), pp. 201–39
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Palladio e il tempio antico authentico nei illustrazioni dei Quattro libri’, in Franco Barbieri et al. eds, Palladio. 1508-2008, il simposio del cinquecentario, Marsilio: Venice 2009 (ISBN: 978-88-317-9626), pp. 144-49
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, Michele Sanmicheli, Electa, Milan, 2004 (ISBN 8837028040); 404 pp.
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘The Laurentian Library and Michelangelo’s architectural method’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 66, 2003, pp. 29-62
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘A question of language: Raphael, Michelangelo and the art of architectural imitation’, in L. Golden ed., Raising the Eyebrow: John Onians and World Art Studies, an album amicorum in his honour, BAR International Series 996, Archeopress, Oxford, 2001 (ISBN 1841712779), pp. 123-31
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, ‘Sanmicheli and his patrons: Planning for posterity’, in G. Beltramini, A.G. Giavarina and P. Marini eds, Studi in onore di Renato Cevese, Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio, Vicenza, 2000 (ISBN ungiven), pp. 161-88
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies,  ‘Le ville di Plinio il Giovane e la loro influenza sui progetti di villa Veneti’; ‘”Un fortissomo palazzo”: il castello Bevilacqua a Legnago’; La Soranza a Treville’; ‘Villa Della Torre a Fumane’, in G. Beltramini and H. Burns eds, Andrea Palladio e la villa veneta da Petrarcha a Carlo Scarpa, Venice, 2005 (no ISBN indicated), pp. 200-03, 282-4, 284-8, 288-91
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘A question of language. Michelangelo, Raphael and the art of architectural imitation’, in L. Golden, ed., Raising the Eyebrow. John Onians and World Art Studies, Oxford, 2001, 123-31
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies,  ‘Sanmicheli’s architecture and literary theory’, in G. Clarke and P. Crossley, eds, Architecture and Language, Cambridge, 2000, 102-17
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies,  ‘I portali di Verona’, in P. Lanaro, P. Marini and G. Varanini, eds, Edilizia privata nella Verona rinascimentale, Verona, 2000, 252-66
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies,  ‘Sanmicheli and his patrons: planning for posterity’, in G. Beltramini, A. Ghisetti Giavarina and P. Marini, Studi in Onore di Renato Cevese, Vicenza, 2000, 161-88
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Beauty as an aesthetic and artistic ideal in late fifteenth-century Florence’, in F. Ames-Lewis and M. Rogers, eds, Concepts of Beauty in Renaissance Art, Aldershot, 1998, 66-79
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Simone Martini’s St John the Evangelist re-examined: a panel from an early portable triptych’ Apollo, 147, 1998, pp. 3-10
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, ‘The Villa Zani at Villimpenta: a palace fit for a prince’, Arte Lombarda, 1995, 62-77
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, ‘Sanmicheli’s Palazzo Pompei: site dating and design’, Annali di architettura, 7, 1995, 95-110
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Le Ville di Sanmicheli’, in H. Burns, C.L. Frommel and M. Tafuri, eds, Michele Sanmicheli. Architectura, cultura e linguaggio nel Cinquecento, Milan, 1995, 92-99
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Le piazze di Brescia nel Medioevo e Rinascimento: lo sviluppo della Piazza della Loggia’, Annali di Architettura, 1993, pp. 168-77
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, ‘Palazzo Bevilacqua e la tipologia del palazzo veronese’, Annali di architettura, 1991, pp. 58-69
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Bramante and the Palazzo della Loggia in Brescia’, Arte Lombarda, 1989, pp. 167-79
  • D. Hemsoll, P. Davies and M. Wilson Jones, ‘The Pantheon: triumph of Rome or triumph of compromise?’, Art History, 1987, pp. 133-53
  • D. Hemsoll, and P. Davies, ‘Renaissance balusters and the Antique’, Architectural History, 1983, pp. 1-23
  • D. Hemsoll, ‘Simone Martini’s St John the Evangelist re-examined: a panel from an early portable triptych’ Apollo, 147, 1998, pp. 3-1