Shadows: The Depiction of Cast Shadows in Western Art

Shadows: The Depiction of Cast Shadows in Western Art

E. H. Gombrich

Language: English

Pages: 96

ISBN: 0300210043

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this intriguing book, E.H. Gombrich, who was one of the world’s foremost art historians, traces how cast shadows have been depicted in Western art through the centuries. Gombrich discusses the way shadows were represented—or ignored—by artists from the Renaissance to the 17th century and then describes how Romantic, Impressionist, and Surrealist artists exploited the device of the cast shadow to enhance the illusion of realism or drama in their representations. First published to accompany an exhibition at the National Gallery, London, in 1995, it is reissued here with additional color illustrations and a new introduction by esteemed scholar Nicholas Penny. It is also now available as an enhanced eBook, with zoomable images and accompanying film footage. 

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Parisienne de Photographie CONTENTS Cover Title Copyright Contents Foreword by Neil MacGregor Introduction by Nicholas Penny Aspects of Cast Shadows The Art Historian’s Eye Cast Shadows and the Laws of Optics The Shadow in Myth and Legend Observations on Cast Shadows in the History of Painting Artistic Functions of Cast Shadows: Illustrated by Paintings in the National Gallery Gombrich on Shadows Film Notes Acknowledgements Index of Names Picture Credits

combined with a glimpse of what is beneath the surface. When Canaletto and his contemporaries painted the squares and courtyards of Venice, the cast shadows were often very strongly defined (Plates 13 and 14). But when they painted the Grand Canal the buildings and boats are invariably reflected, and only the former cast shadows (Plates 15 and 16). Plates 11 and 12 Francesco Zaganelli, The Baptism of Christ, 1514. Oil on wood, 200.7 × 190.5 cm. Plates 13 and 14 Canaletto, Venice: Campo S.

gradations of tone resulting from indirect light (Plate 26).10 Plate 26 Leonardo, Codex Ashburnham, about 1490–2. Diagram of light falling on a wall opposite a window, indicating the arc of the horizon and the resulting shadow. Plate 27 Masaccio, Saint Peter Healing the Sick with his Shadow, 1425. Fresco. Florence, Brancacci Chapel. What is strange is that Leonardo, the most innovative master of chiaroscuro effects, apparently did not embody in his own paintings the varieties of shadows he

Plate 30 Fra Angelico, The Virgin and Child, about 1450 (detail). Fresco, Florence, San Marco. Plate 31 Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Supper at Emmaus, 1601. Oil and tempera on canvas, 141 × 196.2 cm. It is not the intention of this rapid survey of the history of our topic to steal the thunder of the subsequent section that must be devoted to the choice of examples in the exhibition, but we cannot here bypass the leading master whose great painting of The Supper at Emmaus (Plate

painting by Robert Campin (see Plate 38). Plate 50 Masaccio, The Virgin and Child, 1426. Egg tempera on wood, 134.8 × 73.5 cm. Plate 51 Follower of Rembrandt, A Man Seated Reading at a Table in a Lofty Room, about 1628–30. Oil on oak, 55.1 × 46.5 cm. Plate 52 Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, The Procession of the Trojan Horse into Troy, about 1760. Oil on canvas, 38.8 × 66.7 cm. What was called the tenebroso style of the seventeenth century that we connect with Caravaggio frequently went to

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