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Present research topics and methods

I’m carrying out research based on archival investigation in the field of history of collecting and art patronage in Renaissance and Early Modern Italy.

In my doctoral program, I’m especially investigating the painting collection and the patronage activity of the Borghese family between 1613 and 1865, and in particular of Scipione Caffarelli-Borghese (Rome, 1577 – Rome, 1633), at Villa Mondragone in Monte Porzio Catone.

I’m also interested in the applied and decorative arts and furniture history in Baroque Rome.


  • Applied and decorative arts
  • Baroque Rome
  • History of Collecting
  • Renaissance Antiquarianism
  • Technical Art History

Former research topics and methods


I investigated the early activity of Michelangelo Buonarroti in Rome and his connection with Raffaele Riario’s and Jacopo Galli’s patronage. I employed an enhanced research method inspired by the philological one developed by prof. Stefano Colonna who followed his eminent prof. Maurizio Calvesi and prof. Corrado Maltese, starting from the exploration of the biographical links among patrons, humanists and academics in Rome, Florence, Siena and Brescia areas during the Renaissance, in order to better retrace the artistic and literary environment surrounding Michelangelo.


My research output arose from the idea of pursuing a deepened knowledge and a more conscious interpretation of the artwork through a strong interaction between the art historical research and the scientific analysis. My interest was directed towards the study of the organization of the artist’s workshop and the art techniques in use between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries, particularly in Rome, aiming to improve the diagnosis and preventive conservation of polychrome artworks as mural paintings.

Research Projects

  • Villa Borghese di Mondragone

    Art collection and patronage activity of the Borghese family between 1613 and 1865 at Villa Mondragone (2020-2023)

    This research born into the funded Ph.D. program at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” is focused on retracing the collection especially of paintings and the patronage activity particularly of the cardinal Scipione Caffarelli-Borghese and the Borghese family between 1613 and 1865 at Villa Mondragone in Monte Porzio Catone (RM).


    The upcoming research results will be presented at future conferences and published.

  • Antiquities collecting in Rome (15th - 17th centuries)

    Ongoing independent research (2014-2020)

    This study deals with the history of antiquities collecting and the evolution of its humanistic values analyzed together with the art patronage in Rome between the Renaissance and Early Modern period.


    The first result of this project, as a development of my MA thesis research, was published in 2018 on the BTA – Bollettino Telematico dell’Arte scientific journal and was entitled “Nuove acquisizioni sulla prima attività romana di Michelangelo Buonarroti connessa con l’Umanesimo dei Pomponiani”.

    Further results focused on the history of collecting are going to be published and presented at the RSA (Renaissance Society of America) 2021 meeting.

  • Icoxilòpoli

    Study group on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili woodcuts at the University of Rome ``La Sapienza`` (2013-2020)

    A study group of scholars as well as university graduates and students was founded in 2013 by the professor Stefano Colonna, in order to focus the art historical research on the whole set of woodcuts which enrich the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, in a deep connection between the images and the Renaissance text.

    I contributed to this project with the examination of the sixth xylography, representing the Equus Infoelicitatis. The article was published on the BTA – Bollettino Telematico dell’Arte in 2015 and it’s available full text here.


    The results of this study are collected in this catalogue of the analyzed woodcuts, published on the BTA – Bollettino Telematico dell’Arte.

    A volume by various authors and edited by Alessandra Bertuzzi, Elisabetta Caputo, Stefano Colonna, Flavia De Nicola, Francesco De Santis, Alessia Dessì was published by Bulzoni editore in Rome in 2020, entitled: “Icoxilòpoli 2. Iconografia delle xilografie del Polifilo”. The book was funded by MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research) and patronized by La Sapienza SARAS department of History, Anthropology, Religions, Art and Performance and BTA – Bollettino Telematico dell’Arte.

  • Characterization of Renaissance fresco pigments

    In range of the IT@CHA project at ENEA Research Center (2011-2012)

    This interdisciplinary research was included in the IT@CHA project (Italian Technologies for Advanced Application in Cultural Heritage) and financed by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) in the range of the PON 2007-2013.

    I contributed to start and develop the research project, led in the Laser Diagnostic and Metrology Laboratory (UTAPRAD-DIM) at ENEA Research Center in Frascati, in order to collect the spectral analysis data of Renaissance fresco pigments in an appropriate database, valid as a reference model for some conservative operations to be performed on the mural paintings as well as eventual restoration works.


    Details on the research project can be found in the section of ENEA’s 2012 activity report concerning the “Diagnostics for Cultural Heritage preservation and fruition” (pp. 25-32).

    The research results were published and presented at the “7th International Conference on Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy” (Luxor, Egypt, 29 September – 4 October 2012) and “The Third Balkan Symposium On Archaeometry”, entitled “The Unknown Face of the Artwork” (Bucharest, Romania, 29 – 30 October 2012), whose proceedings are available here.