Born in Madrid, studied at the Universidad Complutense, and the Autónoma University where he received his PhD (1995) and taught until 2011. In more recent years, he has also taught at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (Universidad Autónoma de México), and Johns Hopkins University (2011-15). He has worked on Spanish late medieval and early modern art, art theory, image theory and history of architecture.
His books include, La arquitectura elocuente (1999), El atlas del Rey Planeta (3rd. ed. 2003), and Images of Discord. Poetics and Politics of the Sacred Image in 15th century Spain (Spanish ed. 2007; english translation, Harvey Miller, forthcoming). He has recently published on artists such as Luis de Morales, Ribera, or Zurbarán.
He is currently involved in two different projects, both across the complementary but distinct fields of art history and visual culture of Iberia in the early-modern period: “Ad modum Yspaniae: Simulation, hypocrisy and confessionalism in the Spanish Renaissance,” studies the status of the religious image in the artistic and theological debates surrounding the Catholic Reformation (ca. 1520-1580). The second one -“Crime & Illusion: The Art of Evidence in Golden Age Spain.” (manuscript to be completed, Spring, 2016) deals with the use of images as evidence during the seventeenth century at the crossroads of the history of art (what is commonly referred to as “naturalism”); the history of science (representational verisimilitude or veracity as related to new forms of empiricism); and finally, the use of evidence as juridical proof. This project ultimately investigates the relation of naturalism to testimony in the seventeenth century.