Dr Matthew Craske

Reader in History of Art



  • U68070/1: Advanced Seminars in History of Art (3rd year)
  • U68023: Field Work in Art History (2nd year)
  • U68021: Themes in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century European Art (2nd year)
  • U68007: Art in Oxford (1st year)
  • U68001: Museums and Society (1st year)


Matthew's research interests include: sporting art, the representation of servants, eighteenth and early nineteenth-century sculpture, the relationship between art and literature, especially illustration, the marble trade, the business of art, the representation of science, and interior decoration.

Current research projects

Matthew is writing a book on the literary paintings of Joseph Wright of Derby.

Matthew joined the staff at Oxford Brookes in January 2005 from Leicester University. He was awarded his PhD in 1992 by University College, London for his thesis, ‘The London trade in monumental sculpture and the imagery of the family in monumental art, 1720-1760’. He held a Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge from 1995-1998. In 1998 he was the Henry Moore Centre Fellow at Leeds and from 1998-2000 Henry Moore Foundation Fellow. In 2001-2002 he was the Leverhulme Fellow of the National Portrait Gallery. In 2012 he was a Visiting Professor at Yale University and was awarded a Paul Mellon Centre Senior Fellowship.


  • Books
  • Journal articles
  • Book chapters


  • Art in Europe: A History of the Visual Arts in an Era of Unprecedented Urban Growth (OUP, 1997)
  • Hogarth, Liberty and its Consequences (London: Tate Publishing and Harvard: Princeton University Press, 2000)
  • The Silent Rhetoric of the Body: A History of Monumental Sculpture and Commemorative Art in England, 1720-70 (Yale University Press, 2008)

Edited volume

  • Pantheons: Transformations of a Monumental Idea Matthew Craske and Richard Wrigley eds. (Ashgate, 2004)

Journal articles

  • ‘Plan and Control: Design and the Competitive Spirit in Early and Mid-Eighteenth-Century England’, Journal of Design History, Vol. 12, No. 3, (1999), pp. 187-216.
  • 'Entombed like an Egyptian: an Eighteenth-Century Surgeon’s Extravagant Measures to Protect his Corpse’, Church Monuments, December 2000.
  • Reviving the School of Phidias: The Invention of a National School of Sculpture in Britain 1780-1830, Visual Culture in Britain, 7:2, 2006, pp. 25-46. 
  • ‘”Unwholesome” and “pornographic”: A reassessment of the place of Rackstrow's Museum in the story of eighteenth-century anatomical collection and exhibition’, Journal of the History of Collections 23:1 (2011), pp. 75-99.
  • "Matthew Cotes Wyatt’s monument to George III and the Tory vision of metropolitan improvement, 1766-1835”, Journal of Historical Geography, 38:4 (October 2012), pp. 387-400.

Book chapters

  • ‘Richard Jago’s Edge-hill Revisited: An Eighteenth-Century Traveller’s Prospect of Health and Disease in a Succession of English Landscapes’, in Pathologies of Travel, Richard Wrigley and George Revill eds., (Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1999)
  • ‘Henry Cheere and the Rise of a New Commercial World of London Sculpture’, in The Lustrous Trade : Material Culture and the History of Sculpture in England and Italy, c.1700-c.1860, Cinzia Sicca and Alison Yarrington eds., (London: Continuum International Publishing Group – Pinter, 2000)
  • ‘Landseer’s Flood in the Highlands’ in Art in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Wealth of Depictions, Mark Bills, ed. (London: Lund Humphries, 2001)
  • ‘The Upholder Concept: New Types of Business in the Eighteenth Century English Furniture Trades’. Matthew Craske and Maxine Berg, in Art and Economy in Europe (Prato, 2001)
  • ‘From Burlington Gate to Billingsgate; James Ralph’s attempt to impose Burlingtonian Classicism as a Canon of Public Taste’, in Barbara Arciszewska and Elizabeth McKellar eds., Articulating British Classicism: New Approaches to Eighteenth-Century Architecture (London: Ashgate, 2004)
  • 'Court Art Reviewed: The Sandbys’ Vision of Windsor and Its Environs' in J.Bonehill and S.Daniels, Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain (London, Royal Academy, 2009)
  • ‘Allan Cunningham’s Life: Raeburn’s first biography’ in Stephen Lloyd and Viccy Coltman, eds., Henry Raeburn: Context, Reception, Reputation (Edinburgh University Press, 2012)
  • ‘“A Wonderful Force of Nature”: an Account of how Leonardo da Vinci Sustained the Eighteenth-Century English Idea of a “Universal” Genius’ in The Lives of Leonardo (Warburg Institute Colloquia 22, 2013)