Staff profiles

Photo of Dr Camille Mathieu

Dr Camille Mathieu

Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture


01392 725302

Camille Mathieu received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014. Before coming to Exeter, Camille held visiting professorships and lectureships at UC Berkeley, the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester.  She has held numerous fellowships, including the Cox-Kress Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (2011-2013) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Rousseau Fellowship (2010-2011).  In 2017, she was awarded a Loeb Fellowship, sponsored by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, and Harvard University.

Camille teaches and researches the art, architecture, archaeology, and urbanism of France and its colonies from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century.  She would be interested in supervising students who are also interested in the complex political and social framework presented by eighteenth and nineteenth-century art.  A specialist of Napoleonic painting, including the early work of Ingres and Géricault, she is currently preparing a book based on her dissertation which takes as its subject the circulation of art between Rome and Paris and its implications for both history painting and empire-building. Her next project focuses on the materialities of imperialism in French Indochina, assessing the impact of the excavation of Angkor Wat and the varying documentary strategies used to catalogue and promote upon the French imaginary.

Office Hours change every term.  I am also available by appointment; please email me to secure a time slot.


Research interests

My research is centered on the materialities of imperialism. My current book project addresses the impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1794-1815) on the Nachleben of Antique art in the contemporary production of French academic art in Rome.  Artists whom I focus on include Ingres and Géricault, as well as sculptors like David d’Angers and architects like Menager. The book further investigates the ways in which the Napoleonic seizures of Antique art in Rome, as well as the excavations undertaken there, serve as evidence of -- and provided a theorectical justification for-- a particular model of empire imagined by the French in a period during which they began divest themselves of their colonies.

My next book project focuses on the representation of imperial archaeology as it was performed in French Indochina and as it was exported back to France.

Other research interests include primitivism as it functions in the early twentieth century and drawing theory.  I have done extensive research on Picasso throughout my career, first at MoMA (2005), then the Frick Collection (2011), and most recently at LACMA (2017); I have published essays on drawing as manifestation of progress and process (2013).


Research supervision

I would welcome research proposals by students that deal with the art, architecture, archaeology, and urbanism of France and its colonies from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century. I would specifically encourage students working on drawing, questions of materiality, authenticity, and primitivism to contact me.


Camille received her BA from Williams College in History of Art, an MA from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.  Before coming to Exeter, Camille worked extensively in museums worldwide, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the MoMA, the Musée d’Orsay, the Frick Collection, and most recently, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  She is fluent in French and Italian.