Talia Andrei

Lecturer and Burke Postdoctoral Fellow​

Japanese Painting
PhD., Columbia University, 2016

Contact Information

Office: 653B Schermerhorn
Office Hours: Mondays, 12-2 and by appointment


Talia Andrei's research focuses on late-medieval Japanese painting and the social, political, and economic context in which it was created. She traces the iconographic and stylistic origins of particular compositional features, figures, architectural details, and landscape elements, studying their role in the construction of the image and examining how they, and the image as a whole, captures the cultural mood of its time. She also pays close attention to modes of encounter and to how images were perceived by contemporary audiences.

Her dissertation, entitled "Mapping Sacred Spaces: Representations of Pleasure and Worship in sankei mandara," explores the historical and artistic circumstances behind the appearance of sankei mandara (pilgrimage mandalas) in late-medieval Japan and argues that through comparative study of the mandara dedicated to a particular sacred site one can uncover clues about the mandara's patronage and the power dynamics between and within the religious institutions active around the illustrated site. She is currently developing a book project based on this research. A forthcoming article explores the cartographic features of the sankei mandara genre. She is also finishing an article on the Ise sankei mandara, which grew out of her dissertation. In parallel, Talia has initiated a new line of research on mid-late Edo period pilgrimage practices and their artistic expression—how they reflect social, cultural, and economic changes as compared to the previous Muromachi and Momoyama periods. For this purpose she examines printed materials used for and illustrating pilgrimage, such as maps, ukiyo-e, and guidebooks, and studies the modes of spreading information about specific sacred places, whether orally or through forms of printed advertisement. Talia has received a number of grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright IIE to conduct dissertation research at Gakushūin University in Tokyo.