Gianfranco Adornato

A photo of Gianfranco Adornato
Office: Dodd Hall 289E

Gianfranco Adornato is Professor of Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Italy). He carried out his undergraduate studies at the University of Pisa and received the PhD in Art History and Classical Archaeology at the SNS (2004).

Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York (2002-03), Fellow at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2012), member of the scientific committee of the Royal Museums in Turin (2015), his main fields of interest are: Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Art, in particular Greek marble and bronze sculpture; Archaic Rome, architecture and cults; the Western Greek World and the colonization (his 2011 monographic volume concerns the city and the artistic production of Akragas during the Archaic period); artistic practice and drawings in the ancient world; Greek and Roman iconography; the reception of Greek Art in Roman contexts; aesthetics and technical terminology in literary sources; Winckelmann and ancient literary sources.

As scientific coordinator, he promoted conferences and colloquia in Italy and abroad: Scolpire il marmo. Importazioni, artisti itineranti, scuole artistiche nel Mediterraneo antico (Pisa 2009); Arte-Potere. Forme artistiche, istituzioni, paradigmi interpretativi (Pisa 2010); Sul Papiro di Artemidoro: I disegni (Florence 2011); Artistic Practice in the Ancient World: Sketches, Models, and Pattern Books, (Getty Villa 2012); Out of Scale! Aesthetic, Technical, and Art Historical Perspective on Ancient Bronze Statuary (Florence 2015); Pliny’s History of Ancient Art: Towards a Contextual perspective (San Francisco, 117th AIA Annual Meeting 2016); Beyond ‘Art Collections’. Owning and Accumulating Objects from Greek and Roman Antiquity to the Early Modern Period (Pisa 2016); Cityscapes of Hellenistic Sicily: A Reassessment (Berlin 2017); Colored Stone Statuary in the Ancient Mediterranean. Quarries, Workshops, Uses, and Meanings (Pisa 2017). He has lectured and spoken at conferences in Italy, in Europe (Berlin, Dublin, Leiden, London, Oxford, Budapest, Paros, Edinburgh), in the United States (Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle, Boston, Washington, San Francisco) and in Japan (Tsukuba).

He was awarded with a National Research Fund by the Italian Ministry of University and Research and is the Principal Investigator of the project PRIN 2012 “Beyond Pliny. Reception and transmission of art theories, artists’ canons, technical and artistic lexicon, between the Late Classical Period and the Roman Imperial Age. A multidisciplinary approach to the Naturalis Historia (Books 33-36)”. On this topic and related themes are dedicated his Palevsky lectures.

Selected Publications

  • “More than Holes! An Unconventional Perspective of the Greek Revolution in Bronze Statuary.” In J. Daehner – K. Lapatin – A. Spinelli (eds.), Artistry in Bronze. The greeks and Their Legacy. XIXth International Congress on Ancient bronzes, Los Angeles 2017, 80-86;
  • “Componendi ratio: sull’iconografia di Eidola. International journal of Classical Art History 13, 2016, 105-120;
  • “Lysippus without the Kairos: a Greek Masterpiece between Art and Literature.” Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts 130, 2015, 159-182;
  • クリティオスとネシオテス 「革命的な」芸術家? 前5世紀アテナイ、アクロポリスにおける奉納彫像 (Kritios and Nesiotes: “revolutionary” artists? Fifth-century monuments and styles on the Athenian Acropolis). In T. Osada (ed.), Iconography of Prayer in Ancient Greek and Roman Art: Essay of Sociological Approach, Tsukuba 2015, 70-93;
  • Aletheia/veritas: the new Canon.” In J. Daenher – K. Lapatin (eds.), Power and Pathos. Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World, Los Angeles 2015, 49-59;
  • “Rivalry, Competition, and Promotion: Cities and Citizens of Sicily in the Sanctuaries of Greece.” In C. Lyons et al. (eds.), Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome, Los Angeles 2013, 82-97;
  • “Drawings after Ancient Statuary and Workshop Practice: Detecting Skopaic Influence.” In D. Katsonopoulou – A. Stewart (eds.), Skopas of Paros and His World. Third International Conference on the Archaeology of Paros and the Cyclades (Paroikia, Paros, June 2010), Athens 2013, 533-552;
  • “Phalaris: literary myth or historical reality? Reassessing Archaic Akragas.” American Journal of Archaeology 116, 2012, 483-506;
  • “Delphic Enigmas? The Gelas anasson, Polyzalos and the Charioteer Statue.” American Journal of Archaeology 112, 2008, 29-55;
  • “Didascalie, disegni e zoologia sul Papiro di Artemidoro.” Archiv für Papyrusforschung 54, 2008, 224-245;
  • “L’Efebo di Agrigento. Cultura figurativa e linguaggi artistici ad Akragas in età tardoarcaica e protoclassica.” Prospettiva 128, 2007, 2-26;
  • “Il tripode di Gelone a Delfi.” Rendiconti dell’Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2005, 395-420;
  • “L’area sacra di S. Omobono. Per una revisione della documentazione archeologica.” Mélanges de l’École Française de Rome 115, 2003, 809-835;
  • “I Guerrieri di Agrigento.” Prospettiva 110-111, 2003, 1-17.


  • Akragas arcaica. Modelli culturali e linguaggi artistici di un città greca d’Occidente, LED Milano 2011; ISBN 978-88-7917-468-9 [rev.: L. Urquhart, AJA online 2013, 117.4;; G.F. La Torre, Quaderni di Archeologia, 2013, n.s. 3, 133-139; M. Frasca, The Classical Review, 2014, 64.1, 181-183].

Edited books

  • Adornato (ed.), Scolpire il marmo. Importazioni, artisti itineranti, scuole artistiche nel Mediterraneo antico, Milano, LED Edizioni, 2010 [rev.: B. Sismondo Ridgway, BMCR,; K. Karouglou, AJA online,; V. Nobs, Histara,; L. Baena del Alcazar, Baetica 2011, 33, 463-467; M.C. Monaco, ASAtene 2011, 89, 327-366];
  • Adornato (ed.), Intorno al Papiro di Artemidoro. III. Le immagini, Atti del convegno internazionale (Firenze, 4 febbraio 2011), Milano 2016 [rev.: J.J. Thomas, BMCR,];
  • Adornato, I. Bald Romano, G. Cirucci, A. Poggio (eds.), Restaging Greek Artworks in Roman Contexts, Milano, forthcoming;
  • Adornato, G. Cirucci, W. Cupperi (eds.), Beyond Art Collections. Owning and Accumulating Objects from Greek and Roman Antiquity to the early Modern Period, Berlin, forthcoming.