Emanuele Lugli is an art historian who specializes in late medieval and early modern Italian painting, urban culture, trade, and fashion. His theoretical concerns include questions of scale and labor, the history of technology, and the reach of intellectual networks.
An expert in the history of measurements, Emanuele has written a trilogy on the topic. The first book, Unità di Misura: Breve Storia del Metro in Italia (Il Mulino, 2014), reconstructs the revolution triggered by the introduction of the metric system in nineteenth-century Italy. The second, The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness (University of Chicago Press, 2019), searches for the foundations of objectivity through an examination of how measurement standards were created, displayed, and envisioned by medieval communities. The third, Measuring in the Renaissance: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2023), highlights measurement as a pervasive creative activity, which erases information as much as it generates it.
Emanuele has also written a study on hair and the bodily minuscule in shaping concepts of beauty and desire in Renaissance Florence, titled Knots of the Violence of Desire in Renaissance Florence (University of Chicago Press, 2023). He co-edited a collection of essays on the role of size in art making, titled To Scale, with Professor Joan J. Kee of the University of Michigan (Hoboken, Wiley-Blackwell: 2015). Currently, he is working on books about the idea of "love at first sight" and Italian painter Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614).
In addition to his academic research projects, Emanuele regularly writes for magazines and newspapers such as The Guardian, Slate, Il Sole 24 Ore, Domani, Vogue, and Vanity Fair.