Elliott D Wise

Assistant Professor, Comparative Arts & Letters

3048 JFSB


Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

I find few things more rewarding than introducing students to great works of art. One of my primary objectives is to teach “visual analysis,” which is the crux of art historical methodology. Student learn to analyze the manipulation of line, color, and shape as bearers of meaning and indicators for religious, political, and social implications in works of art. In this way, art objects can be “read” as historical, albeit non-verbal, “documents.”


My research focuses on the devotional function of late medieval and early modern art, especially in the fifteenth-century Low Countries. I study art’s relationship to liturgy and vernacular mysticism, Eucharistic piety, representations of the suffering Christ and the Virgin Mary, and the visual culture of the great mendicant and monastic orders. Much of my work deals with the Brussels painter, Rogier van der Weyden (1399–1464).

Selected Publications

  •  “Robert Campin and Jan van Ruusbroec: Spiritual Conflagrations and Ekphrastic Mysticism.” In Ekphrastic Image-Making in Early Modern Europe and the Americas, Emory University, ed. Walter S. Melion and Art DiFuria. Leiden: Brill (forthcoming, 2021).
  •  “‘Hidden Sons’, Baptism, and Vernacular Mysticism in Rogier van der Weyden’s St. John Triptych.” In Rethinking the Dialogue Between the Visual and the Textual. Methodological Approaches to the Relationships Between Religious Art and Literature (ca. 14001700), ed. Ingrid Falque, Agnès Guiderdoni, and Geert Warnar. Leiden: Brill (anticipated publication 2021).
  • “Amber, Blood, and the Holy Face of Jesus: The Materiality of Devotion in Late Medieval Bruges,” co-authored with Matthew Havili. In Quid est sacramentum? Visualizing Sacramental Mystery in Early Modern Europe, 14001700, ed. Walter S. Melion. Elizabeth Pastan, and Lee Palmer Wandel, 320–353. Leiden: Brill, 2019.
  • “‘To Do Justly and To Love Mercy’: Arbitrating Divine Law in Early Modern Art.” Clark Memorandum (Fall 2019): 32–43.
  •  “Cycles of Memory and Circular Compassion in a Germanic Passion Diptych.” Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 10.1 (Winter 2018) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2018.10.1.1
    Available at https://jhna.org/articles/cycles-memory-circular-compassion-germanic-passion-diptych/
  • “Rogier van der Weyden and Jan van Ruusbroec: Reading, Rending, and Re-Fashioning the ‘Twice-Dyed’ Veil of Blood in the Escorial Crucifixion.” In Imago Exegetica: Visual Images as Exegetical Instruments, 1400–1700, ed. Walter S. Melion, James Clifton, and Michel Weemans, 387–422. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
  • “The Black Madonna of Częstochowa: Resistance and Redemption in Communist Poland.” In Art and Spirituality: The Visual Culture of Christian Faith, ed. Herman du Toit and Doris R. Dant, 159–171. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2008.


Collegiality and service are critical to any university, but as a Church-sponsored institution, BYU calls for unique levels of unity, brotherly love, and sacrifice. I am committed to fostering an environment where students, faculty, and staff can pursue the university’s goals for “life-long learning” and the “quest for perfection and eternal life.”

Citizenship assignments

  • Internship Coordinator for Art History Area: 2017-present
  • Advisor for the Student Art History Association: 2015–present
  • Fellow of the BYU Council for Religious Outreach: 2019–present
  • Global Women’s Studies faculty affiliate: 2019-present
  •  European Studies faculty affiliate: 2018-present
  • College reviewer for HUM grant proposals for mentored undergraduate research: 2019–present
  •  Advisor for the Student Art History Association: 2015–present