Affective Artefacts: Umberto Veronesi on Glass, Colour, and Alchemy (18 April)

by | Apr 11, 2023 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Affective Artefacts is back!

This iconic material culture seminar series is organised by Stefan Hanß, Sasha Handley, and Rachel Winchcombe on behalf of The Bodies, Emotions and Material Culture Collective, and generously funded by The John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

This Spring, the event series will start with

Dr Umberto Veronesi (Lisbon), Symbolism, Transformation, Imitation: Glass and Colour in the History of Alchemy

18 April 2023, 4–5.30pm, The John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

For this public lecture, please register here.


Umberto Veronesi will also run two hands-on workshops on 19 April. If you wish to attend these, please get in touch with Dr Stefan Hanß (


Dr Umberto Veronesi is an archaeologist and heritage scientist based in Lisbon. He is specialised in the study of pre-modern technologies and uses scientific techniques as a way to inform historical research. Umberto received his BA in Archaeology from Sapienza Università di Roma in 2013 before moving to University College London, where he completed the MSc in Archaeological Science. His Ph.D., also at UCL, explored the practice of early modern alchemy through the analysis of laboratory remains from England and colonial Virginia. Umberto has collaborated with historians of art and science, and his work has been published on archaeological, scientific, and historical journals.

He is currently a research fellow at VICARTE, within the project ChromAz: The chromatic journey of the Portuguese azulejo, where he investigates the colour technology of Portuguese tiles through a combination of scientific analyses, laboratory replications, and remaking experiments.


His publications include:

Veronesi, U., Hanß, S., 2023. “The lute of wisdom”: Alchemy, the body, and medicine in the material renaissance, Nuncius: Journal of the Material and Visual History of Science 38(1):1-31.

Veronesi, U., Martinón-Torres, M., 2022. The Old Ashmolean Museum and Oxford’s seventeenth-century chymical community: A material culture approach to laboratory experiments, Ambix 69(1):19-33.

Veronesi, U., Rehren, Th., Martinón-Torres, M., 2021. The philosophers and the crucibles. New data on the 17th-18th century remains from the Old Ashmolean laboratory, Oxford, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 35.

Veronesi, U., Rehren, Th., Straube, B., Martinón-Torres, M., 2019. Testing the new world. Early modern chemistry and mineral prospection at colonial Jamestown (1607-1610), Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11 (12):6851-6864.

Rehren, Th., Veronesi, U., Straube, B., Martinón-Torres, M., 2019. Glassmaking tests at early Jamestown? Some new thoughts and data, Journal of Glass Studies 61, 265-270.

Veronesi, U., Martinón-Torres, M., 2018. Glass and Alchemy in Early Modern Europe: An Analytical Study of Glassware from the Oberstockstall Laboratory in Austria, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57 (25), 7346-7350.


Image credits: Tile by unknown maker in Seville, c. 1500–1510, for the Palace of Sintra in Portugal. 13.1cm width. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 186-1853,