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THE DARK SIDE OF GENIUS: THE MELANCHOLIC PERSONA IN ART, CA. 1500-1700. Laurinda S. Dixon. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, 2013. 270 pp. with 143 ills. (62 col.). 26 x 24 cm. LC 2012-47876 ISBN 9780271059358 In English.
Publisher's description: In The Dark Side of Genius, Laurinda Dixon examines "melancholia" as a philosophical, medical, and social phenomenon in early modern art. Once considered both a physical and psychic disorder, the melancholic combined positive aspects of genius and breeding with the negative qualities of depression and obsession. By focusing on four exemplary archetypes -- the hermit, lover, scholar, and artist -- this study reveals that, despite advances in art and science, the idea of the dispirited intellectual continues to function metaphorically as a locus for society's fears and tensions. The Dark Side of Genius uniquely identifies allusions to melancholia in works of art that have never before been interpreted in this way. It is also the first book to integrate visual imagery, music, and literature within the social contexts inhabited by the melancholic personality.
Indexing: Western, Europe — 1400-1600, 1600-1800 — Several Media, Criticism/Theory
Plans: 71
Worldwide Number: 156081
Hardcover $89.95    

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