David Young Kim



David Young Kim

assistant professor in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania

In Residence

July 2018

Research Project

He is currently working on two research projects. The first is entitled Groundwork: the Field of Renaissance Painting. This book seeks to develop a model for thinking about the early modern picture from the viewpoint of the ground—the field in and around which figuration occurs. Beginning with gold grounds in the fourteenth century and concluding with the darkened grounds of Baroque tenebrism, Groundwork explores how painters embraced the multiple meanings and possibilities of ground (referred to in the sources as campo, or field) to achieve compositional and narrative aims.

The second project relates to his interests in art historical language through the lens of translation.  Entitled Lives Found in Translation: Giorgio Vasari, Global Art History, and Cultural Authenticity, this project takes as its starting point twentieth-century translations of Vasari’s Lives (1550/ 1568) into German, Portuguese, and Korean to reflect on scholarly customs and the lingua franca of current art history. Conceived as an experiment in art writing, this book blends the genres of textual criticism, historiographic analysis, and intellectual biography to interrogate unspoken norms regarding cultural authenticity in the Renaissance art historical field.


Research Interests


The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance:  Mobility, Geography and Style. (Manuscript submitted and under review)





David Young Kim

Kolleg-Forschergruppe BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin

Room k11
Tel.: +49(0)30-838-


Website of University Pennsylvania