Ang Li is a D.Phil candidate in Italian Renaissance art and architecture, with a focus on the theory and practice of painting of the Quattrocento and early Cinquecento. His doctoral thesis, entitled 'Foregrounding the Background in Italian Renaissance Painting of the Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries', will provide a previously unavailable critical understanding of the reasons for diverse choices of backgrounds in Italian Renaissance paintings roughly between 1450 and 1550. In order to complement previous selective approaches focusing on one key type of painted or gilded background, the current thesis will adopt a broader approach by looking at a range of backgrounds of various types individually and inter-connectedly, including gold grounds, monochromatic grounds, landscapes, architectural vistas and textile backgrounds. It will complicate our understanding of the teleology from gold grounds to painted backgrounds in Italian Renaissance paintings by considering in turn a variety of such backgrounds in the period in question. His doctoral research is supported by Inger Lawrance Prize, China Oxford Scholarship Fund, Great Britain-China Educational Trust, and Isaiah Berlin Scholarship. Beyond his dissertation, Ang is generally interested in the beholder, meaning, reflexivity, temporality and materiality of Italian Renaissance art. Before coming to Oxford, he did two MSc degrees in Early Modern Studies and History of Art at the University of Edinburgh.
New Preface to the Chinese Translation of Erwin Panofsky's Perspective as Symbolic Form (Commercial Press, 2024) (under review).
'The Allure of Landscape in Renaissance Painting', in Niko Munz, Sumihiro Oki and Charley Ladee (eds), Perspectives on Early Renaissance Pictorial Space (Turnhout: Brepols, 2024) (under review).
'Rhetoric and Piety in Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks', in Fan Jingzhong et al (eds), 《美术史与观念史》(History of Art and History of Ideas) XV, (Nanjing Normal University Press, 2014), pp. 63-92.
'Terminology of Ground/Background in Renaissance Art Theory: A Chinese Perspective', PhD Kolloquium of Prof. Claudia Blümle, Humboldt University of Berlin (21 July 2022).
'Leonardo, campo and chiaroscuro', Light & Darkness in Pre-Modern Visual Cultures, Courtauld Institute of Art (23 November 2018).
'The Revival of Gold Ground in Late Fifteenth-Century Italian Paintings', New Dialogues in Art History, The Warburg Institute (26 September 2018).
'Michelangelo's ignudi, the Diomedes and Iustitia', Annual History of Art Postgraduate Conference, the University of Edinburgh (25 May 2012).