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“You would experience a great pleasure in looking at this region from the height of the hills:  in fact, it would seem to you as if you were gazing not at a territory, but at a painting wrought with incredible mastery: such copious variety, such felicitous disposition, that wherever the eyes come to rest they draw delight...”
 Pliny the Younger

Art History

The artistic heritage of Central Italy (Southern Tuscany, Umbria and the Marche) is exceptionally rich and diverse; and Casa Nova, situated right in the middle of this area, is fantastically well placed for its exploration, enjoyment and study.

One of the owners of Casa Nova, Dr Tom Henry, is an internationally recognised expert in Italian Renaissance art, in particular Central Italian painters such as Piero della Francesca, Luca Signorelli, Pietro Perugino, Pintoricchio and Raphael.  Tom was formerly Reader in the History of Italian Renaissance Art at Oxford Brookes University and Professor of History of Art at the University of Kent and is now Emeritus Professor. He has curated a number of major exhibitions, including co-curating Raphael: from Urbino to Rome, at the National Gallery, London, in 2004-5; Signorelli - “de ingegno et spirto pelegrino”, at the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, Perugia (and Orvieto and Citta di Castello) from 21/4/12-26/8/12; Late Raphael at the Prado, Madrid, from 11/6/12-16/9/12 and at the Louvre, Paris from 8/10/12-13/1/13; and Raphael at the National Gallery, London, April-July 2022.    He has written a monograph on Signorelli, The Life and Art of Luca Signorelli, published by Yale in May 2012 (available from good bookshops and on Amazon). He has developed an Archival Documents website as a resource for Art Historians, which enables scholars to look at photographs and transcripts of archival material online and contribute to expanding the coverage of the site and improving translations and transcriptions.  The documentary appendices to his monograph on Signorelli are available through this archive.

In this section of the Casa Nova website, you will find:

  • more information about Tom’s past and current art historical projects, which include a number of exhibitions and publications on these artists;
  • brief notes on each of these artists which Tom has written for those of you who are interested in finding out more about them or want to know where their works can still be seen in the area;
  • museum listings giving brief details and contact numbers for museums in the area around Casa Nova (including those of more general interest to visitors to the area as well as those with collections of Renaissance art);
  • a portal to the Archival Documents website - this now contains all of the documentary appendices to Tom’s monograph on Signorelli.

Tom has now established a separate company, Cento Torce SRL, through which he offers art historical consultancy, lectures and tours.  If interested in booking a bespoke tour visit for more information or email Tom at


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