Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here People

Dr Catherine Lawless


My research interests focus on gender, religious devotion and representation in late medieval and Renaissance Italian art, with a particular emphasis on the representation of the holy gendered body, the relationships between religious belief and representation, text and image, hagiography and iconography, and representation and gender.



  • Power in History: from Medieval Ireland to the Post-Modern World, Historical Studies XXVII, ed. Anthony McElligott, Ciara Breathnach, Liam Chambers and Catherine Lawless (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2011).
  • Visual, Material and Print Culture in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, ed. Ciara Breathnach and Catherine Lawless (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2010).
  • Victims or Viragos? Women in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe 4, ed. Christine E. Meek and Catherine Lawless (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005).
  •  Pawns or Players? Women in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe 3, ed. Christine E. Meek and Catherine Lawless (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2003).

Articles and Chapters

  • '"Make Your House like a Temple": Gender, Space and Domestic Devotion in Medieval Florence,' Religions, vol.11, no.3 (2020),
  • 'Imaging Power: Gender, Power, and Authority in Florentine Piety,' in Authority and Power in the Medieval Church, c.1000-c.1500, ed. Thomas W. Smith (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), pp.223-234
  • 'Patienthood in Medieval Tuscany: Beliefs and Cures,' Medical Humanities, vol.42, no.2 (2016),
  • ‘The Holy Grandmother and “the Fleshly Trinity”’, Studies, vol.104, no.416 (Winter 2015-2016), 433-443.
  • ‘Sensing the Image: Gender, Piety and Images in Late Medieval Tuscany’, Open Arts Journal, no.4 (2014), pp.62-74
  • ‘Sexuality and Depictions of the Female Saint in Medieval Tuscany’, in Sexualities, Textualities, Art and Music in Early Modern Italy. Playing with Boundaries, ed. Melanie L. Marshall, Linda L. Carroll, Kathleen A. McIver (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014), pp.75-94.
  • ‘“Viva il Popolo”: Civic Identity and Female Sanctity in Medieval Florence’, in Art and Identity: Visual Culture, Politics and Religion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. Sandra Cardarelli, Emily Jane Anderson and John Richards (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013), 19-43.
  •  ‘Representation, Religion, Gender and Space’, in Ritual and Space in the Middle Ages: Proceedings of the 2009 Harlaxton Symposium, Harlaxton Medieval Studies, no.21, ed. Frances Andrews (Donnington: Shaun Tyas, 2011), 232-258.
  •  ‘The Virgin’s Grandmother’, Journal of Medieval History, vol 36 (December 2010), 359-373.
  • ‘Devotion and Representation in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’, in Visual, Material and Print Culture in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, ed. Ciara Breathnach and Catherine Lawless (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2010), 50-57.
  •  ‘Lover of Widows: St Jerome and Female Piety’, in Medieval Italy, Medieval and Early Modern Women: Essays in Honour of Christine E. Meek, ed. Conor Kostick (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2010), 231-242.  ‘Franco Sacchetti and “Modern Saints”, Medieval Italy: A Documentary History, ed. Kate Jansen, Joanna Drell and Frances Andrews (University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, 2009), 385-389.
  • ‘Together and Apart: Antony Gormley’, Irish Arts Review (Spring, 2009), 144.
  • ‘Myth, Ritual and Orthodoxy at San Marco: Cosimo de’ Medici and His Saints’, Cultural and Social History: The Journal of the Social History Society, vol.2, no.3 (2005), 274-299. Available online here.
  •  ‘Images, Piety and Women in Late Medieval Devotion: The Hunt Crucifixion with Saint Clare’, History Studies, vol.6 (2005), 2-18. Available online here
  • ‘Women on the Margins: the “Beloved” and the “Mistress” in Renaissance Florence’, in Pawns or Players? Women in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Christine E. Meek and Catherine Lawless (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2003), 111-130. Available online here
  •  ‘“Widowhood was the Time of Her Greatest Perfection”: Sanctity, Gender and Florentine Art’, in Widowhood and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe, ed. Allison Levy (Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 2003), 20-39.
  •  ‘A Widow of God? Saint Anne and Representations of Widowhood in Fifteenth-Century Florence’, Women in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe, ed. Christine E. Meek (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), 15- 42.
  • Entries on the Crucifixion attributed to Bernardo Daddi and God the Father attributed to Nicholas Froment, in The Hunt Museum: Essential Guide (London: Scala, 2002).

Teaching & Supervision

On the M.Phil in Gender and Women's Studies I teach a core module on Gender Theories, and a module on Art, Gender and Identity. I also contribute to the M.Phil in Medieval History module Saints and Sanctity, which is offered to the M.Phil in Gender and Women's Studies. At undergraduate level I contribute to Approaches to Art History and Criticism; Renaissance Florence, and will be offering a fourth year module on Art, Gender and the Body in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. I am happy to supervise students on gender and representation, gender and holiness, and on cultural and social history of late medieval and Renaissance Italy.

Dr Lawless on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Centre for Gender and Women's Studies
University of Dublin Trinity College
Rm. B6.013, 6th Floor, Arts Building
Dublin 2

Telephone: 00 353 1 896 2225