Student Spotlight: Danielle Grega, Recipient of a Segnan Award and a College of Arts and Sciences Mellon Award

Danielle Grega, a second year Master’s Student in the Art History program, received a Segnan Award and a CAS Mellon Award to support international travel for her research trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. Below, Danielle shares her experience with us:

“While in Edinburgh I was able to view a group of nineteenth-century paintings concerning Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, the subject of my master’s thesis. I was able to take detailed photos of Sir William Allan’s The Murder of David Riccio (1833), the principal painting my thesis will focus on. I was also able to view and photograph James Drummond’s The Return of Mary Queen of Scots to Edinburgh (1870). Existing photographs of these paintings fail to convey accurate formal techniques and color palette, and I am extremely grateful to American University for aiding me in conducting the most precise research possible. I focus on these particular works because they depict specific, well-documented moments in Mary Stuart’s history, thus allowing me to analyze how and why they transform the Queen from a historical figure into an ideal archetype of the Scottish nation. The visit to the Scottish National Gallery and to Holyrood Palace—the actual site of the murder Sir William Allan’s painting depicts—helped me to better understand the art of nineteenth century Scotland and how closely Scottish national identity is tied to it.”


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