The Claude Glass: Use and Meaning of the Black Mirror in Western Art (Paperback)

The Claude Glass: Use and Meaning of the Black Mirror in Western Art Cover Image
By Arnaud Maillet, Jeff Fort (Translator)
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Description


A study of a largely forgotten optical device and its relation to notions of opacity, transparency, and imagination.

In this first full-length study of a largely forgotten optical device from the eighteenth century, Arnaud Maillet reconfigures our historical understanding of visual experience and meaning in relation to notions of opacity, transparency, and imagination. Many are familiar with the Claude glass as a small black convex mirror used by artists and spectators of landscape to reflect a view and make tonal values and areas of light and shade visible. In a groundbreaking account, Maillet goes well beyond this particular function of the glass and situates it within a richer archaeology of Western thought, exploring the uncertainties and anxieties about mirrors, reflections, and their potential distortions. He takes us from the magical and occult background of the black mirror, through a full evaluation of its importance in the age of the picturesque, to its persistence in a range of technological and representational practices, including photography, film, and contemporary art. The Claude Glass is a lasting contribution to the history of Western visual culture.

About the Author


Arnaud Maillet is an art historian who received his doctorate at the University of Paris I. The Claude Glass is his first book.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781890951481
ISBN-10: 189095148X
Publisher: Zone Books
Publication Date: April 1st, 2009
Pages: 306
Language: English

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