Online Lecture: ‘Seeing in the Dark’, UCL via Zoom, 10th February 2022, 18:00-19:30 GMT

In this exploratory paper I consider the long history of seeing in the dark, from cave painting to Zoom lectures. Focusing especially on what was once known as the ‘Dark Ages’, I seek to counter whiggish histories of enlightenment, and explore how art and architecture are and were commonly produced and experienced in darkness or half-light. How have new technologies helped to efface histories of darkness? How, despite this, does darkness still create powerful ‘occasions’ for viewing? And to what extent does artificial light diminish modern encounters and interpretations of artworks and spaces?

Image: Detail from Robert Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617 (Wellcome Collection)

Click here to book.


Helena Vowles-Shorrock – History of Art


Senior Lecturer in Medieval Art and Architecture at The Courtauld Institute of Art 

More about Tom Nickson


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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