Career as art historian
Whitfield has published on Baroque Art extensively since 1971, notably discovering Temps Calme by Nicolas Poussin in The Burlington Magazine in 1977 and organising and writing the catalogue of Painting in Naples 1606 – 1705, Caravaggio to Giordano held at the Royal Academy in 1982.
As well as being the author of a number of books on art history, throughout his career he has been credited with identifications of several "lost" works by Baroque and Renaissance painters, including a disputed identification of Apollo the Luteplayer by Caravaggio and Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist by Andrea del Sarto. In 2007 Whitfield's gallery removed a loan of paintings from the New York gallery Salander-O'Reilly a few hours before the opening of a major exhibition of old master paintings, due to concerns over the "uncertain legal situation" confronting the New York gallery.
Whitfield Fine Art
Whitfield founded the fine art gallery, Whitfield Fine Art, in 1979 located on Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London. It moved to a new 2,000-square-foot (190 m2) space on the first floor of 23 Dering Street in 2009. The gallery specialises in Italian Old Master paintings. It participates in a number of art fairs worldwide.
England and the Seicento, Agnew's, 1973, (Bolognese painting in England).
Painting in Florence, Royal Academy, London, 1979.
Classicismo e Natura: La Lezione di Domenichino Rome, Gallerie Capitoline, Nov 1996 - Feb. 1997 (jointly with Sir Denis Mahon)
"Caravaggio's Eye" Paul Holberton publishing, 2011
“The Camerino of Cardinal del Monte” Paragone, LIX, n.77, 2008, pp. 3–38
“Cardinal Del Monte & Caravaggio” in Caravaggio, exh. cat., New York 2007, p.37-43;
“Caravaggio and a New Technique” in Caravaggio, exh. cat., New York 2007, p.23-36;
“Caravaggio’s Shepherd Corydon” Paragone, LVIII, n.73, May 2007, p.55-68;
"Prospero Orsi, interprète du Caravage" Revue de l' Art 2007-1, No. 155, pp. 9–20
“Landscape paintings and drawings by Antonio Carracci” Paragone. November 2006 pp. 3–20
Caravaggio, exh. cat., Düsseldorf Kunsthalle 2006, cat. 7,11 & 33;
“Landscapes by Francesco Cozza” Apollo Magazine, July 2005;
“A name for a ridiculous man – Rinaldo Coradini by the Carracci” Festrift for Dr. Alfred Bader 2004;
“Portraiture: From the ‘Simple Portrait’ to the ‘Resemblance Parlante” The Genius of Rome 1592 – 1623, exh. cat. London, Royal Academy, 2001 pp.140–171;
Francesco Brizio; Prospetti e paesaggi, Atti dell’ Accademia Clementina, Bologna 1998;
“Antonio Carracci” Studi di storia dell’arte in onore di Denis Mahon, Electa, Milano, 2000, pp.132–152;
Classicismo e Natura; La Lezione di Domenichino, exh. cat. ed. Sir Denis Mahon & C. Whitfield, Rome, Gallerie Capitoline 1996/97 (article on ‘Paesi dal natural rapportati’ and most of the catalogue entries);
Domenichino exhibition Catalogue, Rome, Palazzo Venezia, 1996 Catalogue entry on G.B. Viola’s Flight into Egypt p. 536/37;
A propos des paysages du Poussin, in Colloque Poussin (Paris, Louvre, October 1994) 1996, Vol I, pp. 245–67;
“Les Paysages du Dominiquin et de Viola”, in Monuments et Mémoires, Fondation E. Piot, vol.69, p.61-127, 1988;
“The Landscapes of Agostino Carracci, Reflections on his role in the Carracci School”, in Les Carrache et les décors profanes, Actes du Colloque organisé par l’Ecole française de Rome, (1986), p. 73-95, 1988;
“Claude and a Bolognese Revival”, Studies in the History of Art, Washington DC., vol.14, p. 83-91, 1984;
“La décoration du Palazzetto” in Le Palais Farnèse, Ecole française de Rome, 1983;
“A Parmigianino Discovery”, The Burlington Magazine, CXXV, 950, p.276-280, May 1982;
Painting in Naples 1606 – 1705, Caravaggio to Giordano, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts in association with Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London 1982;
“Poussin Problems”, The Burlington Magazine, CXXII, 933, p.838-39, Dec. 1980;
“Early Landscapes by Annibale Carracci”, in Pantheon, XXXVIII, p.50-58, Jan-March 1980;
“Poussin’s Early Landscapes”, The Burlington Magazine, CXXI, 910, p.10-19, Jan. 1979;
“Nicolas Poussin’s ‘Orage’ and ‘Temps Calme’” The Burlington Magazine, CXIX, 886, p.4-12, Jan. 1977;
“A Programme for ‘Erminia and the Shepherds’ by G.B, Agucchi” Storia dell’Arte, no.19, 1973;
“Révélations sur une tentation d’Eve”, (Baldung Grien) in Connaissance des Arts, juin 1971, p.72-81 ;
- "London-Based Art Historian Clovis Whitfield Finds Answers to Some of the Mysteries of Caravaggio", ArtDaily.org, 11 August 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- Experts at odds over painting's pedigree, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July 2004.
- "Lost" Madonna masterpiece with scandalous past for sale, The Independent, 23 November 2004.
- Embattled Dealer Cancels Exhibit as Partner Removes Caravaggios, Bloomberg, 17 October 2007.
- Moore, Susan (June 2009). "A discovery trail: master paintings week in London: Susan Moore previews the highlights and revelations on show in an enterprising new venture devised by two of London's most distinguished Old Master dealers". Apollo – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 21 October 2013.