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Distributed for Reaktion Books

A Short History of the Shadow

In this investigative tour de force, Victor I. Stoichita untangles the history of one of the most enduring technical and symbolic challenges to confront Western artists: the depiction and meaning of shadows. Stoichita’s compelling and expansive account draws on texts by Renaissance artist-authors such as Vasari and Cennini, folk and fairy tales, and classical myths; works by van Eyck, Poussin, Malevich, De Chirico, and Picasso, among other masters; as well as German Expressionist cinema, photography, and child psychology. It is a wholly original investigation of a subject that for centuries has challenged the very meaning of art as representation.

304 pages | 110 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Art: Art--General Studies

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"Stoichita is an art historian with a tremendous range, and has brewed together optics and metaphysics, phantasmagoria and propaganda, Plato and Warhol to conjure meaning out of shadows in his engagingly original study."

Marina Warner | Times Literary Supplement, "International Books of the Year"

“Ambitious and a pleasure to read. . . . A thoroughly worthwhile book.”

Times Higher Education

“[Stoichita] shows how shadows are deftly used, among other purposes, to suggest the ambiguity of the human psyche.”

Lee Adair Lawrence | Washington Times

“Discriminating, inspired interrogation. . . . Dazzling analysis.”

Tate Magazine

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