Linda Seidel is Hanna Holborn Gray Professor Emerita of Art History at the University of Chicago. Seidel's fields of expertise include medieval architectural sculpture, northern European Renaissance painting, and art historical methodologies. A series of recent papers on the Ghent Altarpiece's Adam and Eve panels examines the ways in which Van Eyck’s painterly practices provided viewers with otherwise undocumented insights into the human body’s functions, expanding conventional understanding of the first couple’s roles in post-Biblical history.
Current research on Romanesque sculpture emphasizes topographical features of churches’ settings, exploring the intersection between the pilgrimage roads and the remains of antiquity that littered the southern French landscape through which the routes passed.
Her path-breaking books include Legends in Limestone: Lazarus, Gislebertus, and the Cathedral of Autun (University of Chicago Press, 1999); Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait: Stories of an Icon (Cambridge University Press, 1993); Songs of Glory: The Romanesque Facades of Aquitaine (University of Chicago Press, 1981); and Romanesque Sculpture from the Cathedral of St-Etienne, Toulouse (Gardener Press, 1977). She also edited, and wrote the introduction to, the published volume of Meyer Schapiro's Romanesque Architectural Sculpture: The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
Seidel earned her B.A. degree from Barnard College, her M.A. from Radcliffe College, and her Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University where she taught before joining the faculty at University of Chicago in 1977.