Troy M. Thomas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History, School of Humanities
Office Phone
Office Location
Olmsted Building, W356

Dr. Thomas has taught European art history and humanities at Penn State Harrisburg since 1975. His book, Caravaggio and the Creation of Modernity, was published in 2016 by Reaktion Books, London. His articles, mainly on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, have appeared in scholarly journals such as the Art Bulletin, Art History, Studies in Iconography, Journal of Aesthetic Education, Renaissance Quarterly, Sixteenth Century Journal, Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art, and Adaptation. He has lectured at national and international conferences on art historical subjects.  He has based several of his research trips in Rome, and has taught courses on student tours in London, Florence, and Rome. He has received two College Awards for Excellence, one in Research (1988) and one in Teaching (1999).

Professional Affiliations
  • College Art Association
  • Renaissance Society of America
  • Patristic, Medieval and Renaissance Society
  • Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Sixteenth Century Society
Research Interests

Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art

Interdisciplinary Humanities

Interdisciplinary Theory in Art and Literature


Nicolas Poussin


Caravaggio and the Creation of Modernity, London: Reaktion Books, 2016. 272 pages, 67 color illustrations. This book investigates the inherent tensions, ambiguities, and contradictions in the paintings of the well-known Italian artist Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) that establish him as the creator of a new form of modernity around 1600.

"William Blake and Dead Man," Adaptation (Oxford University Press journal), vol. 5, no. 1 (2012), pp. 57-87

"Poussin, Gombauld, and the Creation of Diana and Endymion," Art History, vol. 33, no. 4 (2010), pp. 620-641

"Poussin's Philadelphia Marine Painting: New Evidence for the Neptune and Amphitrite Theory," Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art, vol. 10 (2009), pp. 40-76

"An Augustinian Interpretation of Caravaggio's Calling of St. Matthew," Studies in Iconography, vol. 27 (2006), pp. 157-191

"Interart Analogy: Practice and Theory in Comparing the Arts," Journal of Aesthetic Education, vol. 25, no. 2 (1991), pp. 17-36

"Caravaggio and the Roman Oratory of Saint Philip Neri," Studies in Iconography, vol. 12 (1988), pp. 61-89

" 'Un fior vano e fragile,' The Symbolism of Poussin's Realm of Flora," The Art Bulletin, vol. 68 (June 1986), pp. 225-236

"Expressive Aspects of Caravaggio's first Inspiration of Saint Matthew," The Art Bulletin, vol. 67 (Dec. 1985), pp. 636-652

"The Pagan Reliefs in Giovanni Bellini's Blood of the Redeemer," Studies in Iconography, vol. 10 (1984-86), pp. 67-78

Rembrandt Etchings (Exhibition Catalog: Lebanon Valley College, Ursinus College, Muhlenberg College, Franklin and Marshal College, March 1-December 8, 2002), Annville, PA: Lebanon Valley College, 2002, 48 pages

Review of Richard Rambuss, Closet Devotions (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1998), and Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit, Caravaggio's Secrets(Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1998), in Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 3 (1999), pp. 880-883(double review)

Review of Creighton Gilbert, Caravaggio and His Two Cardinals (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 1995), in Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 2 (1997), pp. 642-643

Review of Perri Lee Roberts, Masolino da Panicale (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), in Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 49, no. 4 (1996), pp. 907-909

Review of William Fleming, Concerts of the Arts, Their Interplay and Modes of Relationship (Pensacola, FL: University of West Florida Press, 1990), in Journal of Aesthetic Education, vol. 26, no. 1 (1992), pp. 117-119

Review of Pamela Askew, Caravaggio's "Death of the Virgin" (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), in The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 22, no. 4 (1991), pp. 812-813


B.F.A.; M.F.A.; M.A.; Ph.D. (California-Berkeley)

Course Schedule
ART H 112
ART H 423
ART H 429
ART H 435
HUM 200
HUM 300W
HUM 400
HUM 460
HUM 515
HUM 530
HUM 560
HUM 500