BA, PhD (University College London)

Contact details

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Somerset House


London WC2R 0RN

Katie Scott studied the history of art at University College London, from where she gained both a BA and a PhD. She has taught at The Courtauld Institute of Art since 1988.

A specialist in French art and architecture of the early modern period, Katie Scott’s research interests focus on the relationship between works of art and their physical and social context. The domestic interior, decoration, ornament and increasingly the decorative arts have been the objects of critical essays in exhibition catalogues, journals, edited collections and her book The Rococo Interior (Yale University Press, 1996).

More recently she has been preparing a book length study on the origin of copyright and patent in the arts in early modern France. Her interests have thus turned to questions of mechanical reproduction and the culture of the copy. Specifically, she has written about Chardin’s copies, repetitions and the reproductions of his genre paintings; she has also explored the ways in which François Boucher’s artistic persona was collectively produced by the reproduction of his work in print.

Other Courtauld based activities and activities outside the Institute:

In the context of decorative arts and material culture, Katie Scott and Hannah Williams were contributing members of the Material Life of Things project at the CIA Research Forum organised and chaired by Francesco Lucchini in 2010. They are well underway on a dictionary entitled Lost Property: Eighteenth-century artists’ things recovered which approaches the manifestation, representation and commemoration of artistic identity via an analysis of things.


Katie Scott is also a member of an interdisciplinary research group that unites scholars in the history and philosophy of science and the history of art from UCLA, McGill and the CIA; their research topic is Models and Modelling in art and science. A publication will be forthcoming. She is on the editorial boards of Perspective: La revue de l'INHA and Early Modern French Studies.


Katie Scott gave the Tessin Lecture at the National Museum in Stockholm in November 2015.

research interests

  • History of art, architecture and the decorative arts in early modern France with particular interest in art theory, the relations of art, commerce and the law and reception of the Far East
  • The history and theory of decoration and the ornamental; the history and theory of intellectual property; art, material culture and theories of the everyday

Courses Taught in 2014-15

  • PhD: First Year Research Seminar: Methodologies
  • MA: Art, Object, Sense:Crossings in Anthropology and Art History - the case of Eighteenth-century France
  • MA: Curating the Art Museum
  • PGDip: Rococo to Revolution: Painting and Painters in Eighteenth-Century France

Examples of PhD and MA work supervised by Katie Scott

Some past PhDs:

Alicia Weisberg-Roberts, Antoine Watteau and the Cultural Value of Drawing in Eighteenth-Century France (2005)

Hannah Williams, Portraits of Artists: A Historical Ethnography of the Académie Royale (1648-1793) (2010)

Juliet Carey, The Value of Vases: The Cultural Contexts of Sèvres Vases, 1740-1783 (2011)

Edouard Kopp, Edme Bouchardon: Learned Draughtsman of the Eighteenth Century (2013)

Current PhDs:

Wolf Burchard, The Sovereign Artist: Charles Le Brun and the Art of Absolutism (1665-1675)
John Chu, The Fancy Picture in Eighteenth-Century England

Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, Itinerant Pastellists: Circuits of Movement in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Jenny Saunt, Decorative Plasterwork in England: Form, Materiality and Making, 1660-1700
Camilla Pietrabissa, Landscape Artists in Paris 1680-1750

Examples of past MA dissertation topics:

The Garden Indoors: The function of the Belvedere, Petit Trianon

China at the Edge of the World: Making space for chinoiserie in the interiors of Robert Adam


Vernet’s ‘Four Times of Day’ and the logic of decoration during the last decade of Louis XV’s reign

Disentangling Porcelain: Textile motifs as decoration on Sèvres porcelain

Adieux à la Guerre: Culture of the late eighteenth-century bathroom

‘Maison de Plaisance ou Maison Rustique?’: Art, economics and morality in Bastide’s ‘La Petite Maison’

The Ruins of ‘Iconologie’: The collusion of architecture and ornament in Jean-Charles Delafosse’s desseins

Saint-Cloud Porcelain: Grotesque beginnings

Recent publications

Rococo Echo: Art, history and historiography from Cochin to Coppola, ed with Melissa Hyde (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2014)

'Persuasion: Nicolas Pineau's Designs on the Social', RIHA Journal, 84 (2014)

'Edme Bouchardon's "Cris de Paris": Crying food in early modern Paris', Word and Image, 29/1 (2013) 59-91

'Screen Wise, Screen Play: Jacques de Lajoue and the Ruses of Rococo', Art History, 36/3 (2013) 568-607

'Chardin and the Art of Building Castles', in Taking Time: Chardin's Boy Building a House of Cards and other Paintings by Juliet Carey (2013) 36-52

'Saint Aubin's Jokes and Their Relation To…', in The Saint Aubin 'Livre De Caricatures': Drawing Satire in Eighteenth-Century Paris eds Colin Jones and Juliet Carey (SVEC, 2012) 349-403


Interior, ornament, rococo, the everyday, ephemera, intellectual property.