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'Standing between Darkness and Light' Shadows in Western Art from ancient times to the present

Defined by Leonardo da Vinci as 'standing between darkness and light,' shadows are and always have been everywhere, but they are not always depicted in art. The origins of the depiction of shadows in art, will be traced, but they were rarely shown in Classical, Early Christian and medieval art. The portrayal of shadows really comes into its own in Renaissance Italy - linked with the immense advances in scientific study and new learning (especially optics). Shadows can be used to give bodily and other forms a three-dimensionality hitherto not achieved, or as the actual depiction of cast shadows, sometimes with symbolic meaning. Shadows were used to bring a psychological or even magical resonance to Renaissance painting. And the use of shadows in art as mysterious, ethereal or even divine has continued to the present day. Accredited Lecturer Dr Valerie Shrimplin tells us more.


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So glad I got the answer right to the question, becoming an expert I guess. Well done Valerie, a wonderful talk on shadow, light and it's origins, well documented with great illustrations.

Muriel Lowe Fri, 10/12/2021 - 09:00 Permalink

What a very clear and engaging lecture covering such a very wide range of images.Wonderful speaker. Thank you!

Alison Murphy Fri, 10/12/2021 - 08:44 Permalink

I really enjoyed all the paintings and will look at art in a different way from now on. Thank you too for
inspiring me to go out with my camera and capture myself.

Sally Hutchinson Fri, 10/12/2021 - 08:41 Permalink

More enlightenment!

Judith Keen Fri, 10/12/2021 - 08:37 Permalink

Super interesting way to start the day! Thank you

Chrissie Twigg Fri, 10/12/2021 - 08:31 Permalink

A very interesting aspect of art to enhance our enjoyment.
Thank you

Beatrice Fri, 10/12/2021 - 08:28 Permalink

A fascinating talk about a subject you wouldn't normally think about when looking at paintings.

Jenny Hill Fri, 10/12/2021 - 08:23 Permalink


Valerie Archibald Fri, 10/12/2021 - 08:05 Permalink