André Dombrowski

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Associate Professor of History of Art
208 Jaffe Building

André Dombrowski joined the faculty at UPenn in 2008. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2006, and holds an M.A. from the University of Hamburg and another from London’s Courtauld Institute of Art. He taught at Smith College from 2005 to 2008. A predoctoral fellow at CASVA, a DAAD fellow, a recipient of a two-year fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Stiftung in Düsseldorf, Professor Dombrowski was awarded a J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2008-09 and membership in the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for 2012-13.

Research Interests: 

André Dombrowski’s research centers on the arts and material cultures of France and Germany in the mid to late nineteenth century, with an emphasis on the histories of science, politics, and psychology. He is particularly concerned with the social and intellectual rationales behind the emergence of avant-garde painting in the 1860s and 1870s, including Impressionism. Winner of the Phillips Book Prize from the Center for the Study of Modern Art at the Phillips Collection, he is author of Cézanne, Murder, and Modern Life (University of California Press, 2013). The book analyzes Cézanne’s early scenes of murder and sexual violence through the lens of pre-Freudian definitions of desire and instinct. He has started two new projects: one shorter book on the relation between Impressionism and the history of modern time-keeping (chapters will focus, for instance, on “reaction time” and the birth of Impressionism, or the advent of “universal time” in 1884 and its relationship to the serried order of Seurat’s pointillist technique); and a longer study that will situate the innovations of Édouard Manet’s major 1860s paintings within the Second Empire’s political and juridical cultures.




Cézanne, Murder, and Modern Life, The University of California Press, 2013.

Selected reviews:

*Alex Danchev, Times Higher Education (January 31, 2013):

*Hubertus Kohle, Sehepunkte 14, no. 4 (2013):

*Elizabeth Mansfield, H-France Review 14, no. 30 (February 2014):


 Is Paris Still the Capital of the Nineteenth Century? Essays on Art and Modernity, 1850-1900, edited volume, with Hollis Clayson, forthcoming 2015.

 Selected Essays:

 “Living on Manet’s Balcony, or the Right to Privacy,” in eds. Hollis Clayson and André Dombrowski, Is Paris Still the Capital of the Nineteenth Century? Essays on Art and Modernity, 1850-1900 (Forthcoming 2015).

 “Brick by Brick: Cézanne’s Abandoned House near Aix-en-Provence,” in ed. Heather MacDonald, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art at the Dallas Museum of Art: The Richard R. Brettell Lecture Series (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, Fall 2013, forthcoming).

 “The Cut and Shuffle: Card Playing in Cézanne’s Card Players,” in ed. Satish Padiyar, Modernist Games: Cézanne and His Card Players (Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum online book, Spring 2013, forthcoming).

 “History, Memory, and Instantaneity in Edgar Degas’s Place de la Concorde, Art Bulletin 93, no. 2 (June 2011): 195-219.

 “Cézanne, Manet, and the Portraits of Zola,” in eds. Temma Balducci, Heather Jensen and Pamela Warner, Interior Portraiture and Masculine Identity in France, 1780-1914 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), 101-19.

 “Wilhelm Leibl in Paris: International Realism during the Late Second Empire,” in eds. Christian Fuhrmeister, Hubertus Kohle and Veerle Thielemans, American Artists in Munich: Artistic Migration and Cultural Exchange Processes (Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2009), 135-52.

“The Untimely Classicism of Hans von Marées,” in eds. Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski and Anne Dymond, Modern Art and the Idea of the  Mediterranean (Toronto, Buffalo and London: University of Toronto Press, 2007), 84-115.

 “The Emperor’s Last Clothes: Cézanne, Fashion and l’année terrible,” in special issue on Cézanne of Burlington Magazine, vol. 148 (September 2006): 586-94.

Courses Taught: 

ARTH 102 (002): Renaissance to Contemporary, Introduction to Western Art, 1400-Present, introductory lecture, co-taught with Profs. Christine Poggi, Larry Silver and Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw (Spring 2010 + Spring 2011 + Spring 2012 + Spring 2014)

ARTH 274/674 (284/684): Revolution to Realism: European Art 1770-1860, lecture (Fall 2011)

ARTH 275/675 (285/685): Impressionism, European Art, 1860-1900, lecture (Fall 2009 + Fall 2010)

ARTH 277/677: The Rise of Modernity: The Arts of the 19th Century, lecture, co-taught with Prof. David Brownlee (Fall 2013)

ARTH 301: Modernity in Haussmann’s Paris, undergraduate seminar (Fall 2009 + Spring 2012)

ARTH 585: Image and Theory of Revolution, pro-seminar in nineteenth-century art (Spring 2011)

ARTH 701: Graduate Methods in Art History (Fall 2011 + Fall 2013)

ARTH 775: Art and Time in 19th-Century Painting, graduate seminar in nineteenth-century art (Spring 2014)

ARTH 784: Cézanne and the Philosophies of Modernism, graduate seminar in nineteenth-century art (Fall 2010)

Other Affiliations: