In autumn 2018 the Wallraf will track down a very fugitive phenomenon that is hard to depict: the shadow. The visitors will be invited on a journey of discovery through (art) history, beginning in the early modern era. Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer were the first to turn their minds to the geometrical construction of shadows.

And trying to get closer to both “bewildering” shady margins and clear-cut shadows posed a great challenge to a host of other painters. As this print show demonstrates, a clear understanding of the phenomenon of the shadow that allowed for the specific projection ratios in sunlight only first emerged in the 17th century. Thirty prints from the period will be used to visualise how the depiction of shadows developed.

The exhibition is curated by Tim Otto Roth, conceptual artist, historian of art and science, and expert in the realm of shadow depictions.