Recent Commons Activity

  • joined the group Early Medieval
  • joined the group Late Medieval History
  • posted an update in the group Medieval Studies:

    CFP Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance
    53nd International Congress on Medieval Studies
    Western Michigan University
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    May 10-13, 2018

    The Interdisciplinary Graduate Medieval Colloquium at the University of Virginia invites graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars to submit papers for a session entitled “Medieval…[Read more]

  • joined the group Medieval Studies


I earned my bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College (2009) and a masters in Art History from the University of Alabama (2014). My thesis, “Quod vocatur Paradiso: The Pigna and the Atrium of Old St. Peter’s,” focused on the monumental ancient bronze pigna, or pinecone, that was once the unifying water feature of a fountain located in the atrium of the church of Old St. Peter’s in Rome. I studied the pigna‘s eighth-century incorporation into the church and examined how the sculpture’s addition to the forecourt led to the creation of a new architectural term – the paradiso – that reflected Old St. Peter’s emergent status as a center for pilgrimage and papal influence.


Prior to joining the Department of Art History at the University of Virginia as a doctoral student, I was a Eugene McDermott Educational Intern at the Dallas Museum of Art, a Teaching Assistant at the Pantheon Institute in Rome, an International Intern for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, and a grant writer for the Nashville Cultural Arts Project: Seed Space. My ongoing research pertains to topics in late medieval and early modern art in Italy, specifically objects that are created, acted on, and restored many times – works that frustrate a study of the moment of creation and require an analysis that moves across time and geographic borders.


At the University of Virginia, I concentrate on topics involving art and cultural interchange between Italy and Byzantium, particularly as it relates to members of the Byzantine émigré Basil Bessarion’s (b. Trebizond c. 1408, d. Ravenna 1472) humanist academy in Rome, relics and reliquaries, and the art and architecture of Crusade. I am also a member of Tomorrow’s Professor Today, the Society of Fellows, the Praxis digital humanities program in the Scholars’ Lab, the Graduate Student Public Humanities Lab at UVA, and served as the coordinator of UVa’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Medieval Colloquium.


Research Interests

Italian art, Byzantine art
Late medieval and early modern art
Rome in the fifteenth century
Basil Bessarion (b. Trebizond c. 1408, d. Ravenna 1472)
Relics and reliquaries
Liturgical objects, religious ritual, and procession
The Later Crusades
Layered objects and sites
History of humanism and the humanities
Digital humanities, digital art history, public humanities
Public art


BA, Art History & English, Kenyon College, 2009
MA, Art History, University of Alabama, 2014


Justin Greenlee, “Quod vocatur Paradiso: The Pigna and the Atrium of Old St. Peter’s,” Athanor 32 (2014): 7-15.

Justin Greenlee

Profile picture of Justin Greenlee


active 1 month, 3 weeks ago