Sir John Hale was, until his death, a Fellow of the British Academy and Emeritus Professor of Italian History at University College, London. He was also a fellow of the British Academy, a former chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery, and was knighted ‘for services to learning and the arts’ in 1984.
Born in 1923, John Hale was drawn to the history of warfare as a tutor at Jesus College, Oxford, through his contribution to the first three volumes of the Cambridge Modern History. Subsequently holding chairs of history (at Warwick) and of Italian (at University College), this interest was pursued in an edition of Sir John Smythe’s Certain Discourses Military (1964) and articles collected in 1983 under the title Renaissance War Studies. He is the author of many books, including England and the Italian Renaissance, Italian Renaissance Painting, Renaissance Europe 1480-1520, Florence and the Medici: the Pattern of Control, A Concise Encyclopaedia of the Italian Renaissance and The Military Organization of a Renaissance State: Venice c. 1400 to 1617.