Light as Experience and Imagination from Medieval to Modern Times synthesizes and interpretates the experience of light as revealed in a wide range of art and literature from medieval to modern times. The true subject of the book is making sense of the individual’s relationship with light, rather than the investigation of light’s essential nature. It tells the story of light "seducing" individuals from the Middle Ages to our modern times. Consequently, it is not concerned with the “progress” of scientific inquiries into the physical properties and behavior of light (optical science), but rather with subjective reactions as reflected in art, architecture, and literature. Instead of its evolution, this book celebrates the complexity of our relation to light’s character. No individual experience of light being “truer" than any other.
David S. Herrstrom is an independent scholar who has taught and lectured at various universities and museums, including Queens College (City University of New York), Monmouth University, and Drew University, as well as the Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia).
1. Houses of Light: The Middle Ages
2. Instrumental Light: The Renaissance
3. Untwisting the Shining Robe of Day: The Enlightenment
4. Sublime Light: The Age of Revolution
5. Fields of Light: The Age of Technology
6. Eloquences of Light: The Age of Uncertainty
7. The “Thingness” of Light: The Age of Suspicion