Biography

John Onians, Emeritus Professor 
Email: j.onians@uea.ac.uk

John Onians taught at the University of East Anglia from 1971 to 2007 after study at the University of Cambridge and at the Courtauld and Warburg Institutes, London. His interests range from the close analysis of Italian Renaissance Architecture and Greek and Roman Art to experimentation with broad approaches to art as a worldwide phenomenon, such as art geography. Most recently he has explored the use of neuroscience for the study of art-related behaviours, pioneering neuroarthistory, neuroarchaeology, neuroanthropology and neuromuseology. His books include Bearers of Meaning. The Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (1988) and Classical Art and the Cultures of Greece and Rome (1999). He was founding editor of the journal Art History (1978-88) and he edited the first Atlas of World Art (2004). He is currently writing a Neuroarthistory of Europe. 

All Publications

Onians, J.

(2017)

Art, the Visual Imagination and Neuroscience: the Chauvet Cave, Mona Lisa’s smile and Michelangelo’s terribilitá,

in Cortex

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


MacKisack, M., Aldworth, S., Macpherson, F., Onians, J., Winlove, C., Zeman, A.

(2016)

On Picturing a Candle: The Prehistory of Imagery Science,

in Frontiers in Psychology

7

article no. 515

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2016)

The ‘masterpiece’: a social or neural phenomenon?,

in World Art

6

(2)

pp. 187-201

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2007)

Neuroarchaeology and the Origins of Representation in the Grotte de Chauvet: a Neural Approach to Archaeology,

in Image and Imagination: a Global Prehistory of Figurative Representation.

McDonald Institute

pp. 307-320

ISBN 9781902937489

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2007)

Neuroarthistory: From Aristotle and Pliny to Baxandall and Zeki,

Yale

ISBN 9780300126778

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2006)

Compression vs. Expression: Containing and Explaining the World's Art,

Yale University Press

ISBN 0300097905

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2004)

Atlas of World Art,

Laurence King Publishing

ISBN 1856693775

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2003)

A natural anthropology of art,

in International Journal of Anthropology

18 (4)

pp. 259-264

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2003)

Alberti and the neuropsychology of style,

in Leon Battista Alberti e il Quattrocento, Studi in Onore di Cecil Grayson e Ernst Gombrich.

Casa Editrice Leo S.Olschki

pp. 239-250

ISBN 8822249577

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2003)

Gombrich and biology,

in E. H. Gombrich in Memoriam.

EUNSA EDICIONES UNIVERSIDAD DE NAVARRA

pp. 95-119

ISBN 8431321253

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2002)

Architecture and painting: the biological connection,

in The built surface.Vol. 1 Architecture and the pictorial arts from Antiquity to the Enlightenment.

Ashgate

pp. 1-14

ISBN 075460022X

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Onians, J.

(2002)

The Greek Temple and the Greek brain,

in Body and Building. Essays on the changing relation of body and architecture.

The MIT Press

pp. 44-63

ISBN 0262041952

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)