"The Dark Side of Genius: The Melancholic Persona in Art, ca. 1500–1700" by Laurinda Dixon

Laurinda Dixon’s “The Dark Side of Genius” explores representations of “melancholia” (melancholy) in early modern art. “Melancholia” – maligned as a dark mental condition, but also revered amongst artists, creatives, and intellectuals – was often associated with artistic “genius.” Dixon examines how early modern artists like Dürer to Rembrandt crafted melancholic personas for themselves in their art, and how many artists still today utilize “melancholia” to present themselves as somber, withdrawn geniuses.

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