Rebekah Compton

Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art

Address: Albert Simons Center for the Arts, Room 302
Phone: 843-953-8224
Personal Website:


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley. History of Art
M.A. Washington University, St. Louis. Art History
B.A. Clemson University. History and English
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University. Art History

Research Interests

Rebekah Compton teaches courses on Renaissance and Baroque art history. She specializes in painting, sculpture, and architecture created within Italy between 1400 and 1600. Her research focuses on the interplay between vision, materials, desire, and the body in Italian Renaissance art. Rebekah’s current book project, titled Venus and the Arts of Love in Renaissance Florence, surveys the goddess’s appearance in Florentine art of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. While presenting new perspectives on Venus’s iconography in the context of gender and sexuality, each chapter looks closely at the materials and techniques wielded by Florentine artists to attract the viewer and to stimulate desire, desire that often threatened to cross the line from reverence and appreciation to something less chaste. Rebekah has published on Fra Filippo Lippi, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Chris Jordan.

Rebekah wrote and recorded the audio tour for the Kress Collection at the Columbia Museum of Art.


Courses Taught

ARTH 102 History of Art: Renaissance through Modern
ARTH 277 Renaissance Art
ARTH 280 Baroque Art

ARTH 278: Renaissance and Baroque Architecture

ARTH 299 Theories and Methods of Art History
ARTH 303 Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art
ARTH 370 Italian Early Renaissance Art

ARTH 375 Italian High/Late Renaissance Art

ARTH 377: Materials and Techniques of Renaissance Art

ARTH 415: Senior Seminar-The Body and Desire in Renaissance Italy

HONS 381: Art Humanities: The Western Tradition


Journal Articles

  • “Venus Weeps: Chris Jordan’s Photo Mosaic of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.” Source: Notes in the History of Art 39 (Winter 2019).
  • “Botticelli’s Garlands.” Source: Notes in the History of Art 35 (2016): 283-92.
  • “Omnia Vincit Amor: The Sovereignty of Love in Tuscan Poetry & Michelangelo’s Venus and Cupid.Mediaevalia 33 (2012): 229-60.

Book Essays

  • “The Green Places of Fra Filippo Lippi and Sandro Botticelli.” Forthcoming in Green Worlds in Early Modern Italy. Art and the Verdant Earth. Edited by Karen Hope Goodchild, April Oettinger, and Leopoldine Prosperetti. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019.
  • “Florentine Erotica in the Palace of Alamanno and Jacopo Salviati.” Forthcoming in Narratives of the Florentine Interior: Courtly Environments in Early Modern Tuscany. Edited by Francesco Freddolini and Cinzia Maria Sicca.
  • “Dressed in White: Conflicting Ideals of Purity and Passion in Quattrocento Florence.” Forthcoming in Idealizing Women in the Italian Renaissance. Edited by Elena Brizio and Marco Piana. Toronto: University of Toronto, Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies.