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Jesús Escobar

Associate Professor

Ph.D., 1996, Princeton
Curriculum Vitae

Jesús Escobar teaches courses and publishes scholarship on the art, architecture, and urbanism of early modern Spain, Italy, and the larger Spanish world. His book The Plaza Mayor and the Shaping of Baroque Madrid (Cambridge University Press, 2003; paper, 2009), explored the interchange of architecture and politics in the evolution of Madrid from a secondary city of Castile to the seat of a global empire. The book won the Eleanor Tufts Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies and was published in a Spanish-language edition in 2008 by Editorial Nerea. A follow-up book manuscript about government buildings and public spaces associated with powerful institutions in seventeenth-century Madrid is under review. Recent and ongoing publication projects consider the monastery-palace of El Escorial, a spectacular seventeenth-century map of Madrid, transatlantic Renaissance and Baroque religious architecture in the Spanish Empire, and the historiography of seventeenth-century architecture in Spain.

Professor Escobar serves as Editor for the scholarly book series, Buildings, Landscapes, and Societies, published by Penn State University Press. He is also an editor for the Grove Encyclopedia of Latin American Art and Architecture, a member of the National Committee for the History of Art, and an active participant in a number of professional societies. Prior to arriving at Northwestern, he taught at Fairfield University and held visiting professorships at MIT and Columbia. His research has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. At Northwestern, he is co-Principal Investigator for the Chicago Objects Study Initiative, a collaborative project with the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In 2019-20, Professor Escobar will teach the undergraduate art history methods seminar (ART HIST 391) and an introductory-level lecture course on European Renaissance and Baroque art (ART HIST 250). In the fall, he will offer a graduate seminar on the Renaissance in Spain and, in September 2020, he will lead the graduate art history summer seminar abroad in Madrid. Professor Escobar welcomes applications from prospective graduate students interested in architecture and urbanism in the early modern, transatlantic Spanish Empire as well as the study of architectural and artistic exchange across the Spanish Habsburg world.

Program Area: Architecture and Urbanism, Early Modern

Regional Specialization: Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe

Regional Interests:  Architecture and urbanism in the Spanish Habsburg world, Baroque visual culture, early modern cartography 

Selected Publications

Jesús Escobar. “Philip II and El Escorial.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Art History. Ed. Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann. New York: Oxford University Press, 27 June 2017.

Jesús Escobar, "Map as Tapestry: Science and Art in Pedro Teixeira's 1656 Representation of Madrid," Art Bulletin 96/1 (2014): 50-69.

Jesús Escobar, "Architecture in the Age of the Spanish Habsburgs," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 75/3 (2016): 258-262.

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