Salvatore Settis, director of the Academic Chair 2010
Salvatore Settis is director of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he teaches Art History and Classical Archaeology. He has devoted his career to the study and teaching of archaeology, classical art and iconography and to the care and safeguarding of historic heritage.
In 1978 Professor Settis published his interpretation of Giorgione’s enigmatic painting The Tempesta, which was seen as extremely innovative within the art-historical world of the day. The book was noted for the originality of its proposals and for the application of a methodology that was considerably influenced by the author’s archaeological studies. Between 1994 and 1999 he was director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, USA. In addition to his extensive publications on archaeology and art history (including Trajan’s Column, 1988; Lacoön: fame and style, 1999; The Civilisation of the Romans, 1990-94; and The Future of the Classical, 2004), in 2002 he published a polemical book entitled Italy, plc. The assault on cultural patrimony, which offered a robust critique of the management of historic and artistic patrimony in Italy over the past few decades.
Professor Settis is a member of the Institut de France, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and the Academic Committee of the European Research Council. He has been invited to give the Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and the Isaiah Berlin lectures at the University of Oxford.