Troy M. Thomas, Ph.D.

Troy M. Thomas
Associate Professor of Art History, School of Humanities
Office Phone
Office Location
Olmsted Building, W356

    Dr. Troy Thomas received his Ph.D. in art history from the University of California, Berkeley and has taught European art history and humanities at Penn State Harrisburg since 1975. He has written two books, Poussin's Women, Sex and Gender in the Artist's Works (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020) and Caravaggio and the Creation of Modernity (London: Reaktion Books, 2016). 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, Source, Notes in the History of Art, 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 and one in Teaching.

    Professional Affiliations
    • College Art Association
    • Renaissance Society of America
    • Sixteenth Century Society
    Research Interests

    Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art

    Interdisciplinary Humanities

    Interdisciplinary Theory in Art and Literature


    Nicolas Poussin



    Troy Thomas, Poussin’s Women, Sex and Gender in the Artist’s Works, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020. 385 pages, 106 color illustrations. This book examines Poussin’s works from a gender studies perspective, focusing on a critical analysis of his representations of women.

    Troy Thomas, Caravaggio and the Creation of Modernity, London: Reaktion Books, 2016. 272 pages, 67 color illustrations. This book investigates the inherent tensions, ambiguities, and problematic reception of Caravaggio’s art that establish him as an important artistic innovator around 1600.

    Articles Published in Scholarly Journals

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

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

    Troy Thomas, "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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Articles in Scholarly Journals—in press

    Troy Thomas, “Artifice and Reality in Caravaggio’s Lute Player,” 10 pages, Source Notes in the History of Art, accepted for publication August 8, 2020

    Troy Thomas, "How Did Caravaggio Light his Subjects?," 11 pages, Source Notes in the History of Art, accepted for publication April 20, 2020

    Articles in Scholarly Journals—submitted

    Troy Thomas, "New Literary and Visual Sources for Caravaggio's Martyrdom of St. Matthew" submitted to Source Notes in the History of Art, August 10, 2020

    Exhibition Catalog

    Troy Thomas, 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

    Book Review

    Troy Thomas, 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)

    Troy Thomas, 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

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

    Troy Thomas, Review of William Fleming, Concepts 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

    Troy Thomas, 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