Shadows and Enlightenment

By Michael Baxandall
(Yale University Press, Paperback, 9780300072723, 224pp.)

Publication Date: September 1997

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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In this book, an eminent art historian draws on contemporary cognitive science, eighteenth-century theories of visual perception, and art history to discuss shadows and the visual knowledge they can offer.

"Baxandall's main interest is the views on the perception and representation of shadow of certain 18th-century commentators in whose work he finds 'an implication of shadow in the basic matter of human knowledge.' He finds a similar assumption, implemented very differently, in some recent research in cognitive science and 'machine vision.' Baxandall's detailed grasp of this material, and his own intermittent descriptions of moments of direct vision, are characteristically articulate". -- Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

"The text has fascinating things to say about what shadows may tell us of the shape and texture of objects, or of atmosphere and space". -- Choice

"Baxandall has opened up an area concerning shadows and shadow projection which has been completely ignored for so long. The information is handled with extreme delicacy and obvious thought". -- Rowland MacKenzie, Inferno: St. Andrews Journal of Art History

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