Doppelgangers, Alter Egos and Mirror Images in Western Art, 1840–2010

Critical Essays


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About the Book

The notion of a person—or even an object—having a “double” has been explored in the visual arts for ages, and in myriad ways: portraying the body and its soul, a woman gazing at her reflection in a pool, or a man overwhelmed by his own shadow. In this edited collection focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century western art, scholars analyze doppelgangers, alter egos, mirror images, double portraits and other pairings, human and otherwise, appearing in a large variety of artistic media. Artists whose works are discussed at length include Richard Dadd, Salvador Dalí, Egon Schiele, Frida Kahlo, the creators of Superman, and Nicola Costantino, among many others.

About the Author(s)

Mary D. Edwards is a professor of art history at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and is a member of the Renaissance Seminar at Columbia University. Her articles have appeared in Studies in Iconography, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Mary D. Edwards
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 235
Bibliographic Info: 74 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6929-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3796-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction (Mary D. Edwards) 1
The Idea of the Double in Text and/or Image from Antiquity to the End
of the 20th Century (Mary D. Edwards) 3
The Doppelganger in Richard Dadd’s Life and Art (Karen Stock) 31
Doubles, Doppelgangers and Desire: The Formation of Female Identity in the Photographs of Lady Hawarden (Jenny O. Ramirez) 45
Venus’s Double: Investigating Similitude in ­Burne-Jones’s Pygmalion Cycle (Sarah J. Lippert) 61
Mirror Symbolism, Sexuality and Interiority in the Art of Fernand Khnopff (Natalia Vieyra) 76
Narcissus in the Art of Waterhouse, Dalí, Kusama, Collishaw and Muñoz (Mary D. Edwards) 84
Egon Schiele’s Double ­Self-Portraits as Gedankenmalerei (Lori Felton) 98
Magritte and the Painted Double: Repetition as Subversion (Sandra Zalman) 108
Double Take: Jean Dubuffet, Antonin Artaud and Balinese Costume (Stephanie Chadwick) 114
Doubling, Pairing and Halving in Some ­Self-Portraits by Frida Kahlo (Mary D. Edwards) 129
Superman, Disguised as ­Mild-Mannered Clark Kent: Queerness,
Jewish Masculinity and the Superhero’s Alter Ego as Marginalized Other (Megan Fowler) 144
Morrisseau’s Thunderbird with Inner Spirit (circa 1978) (Mary D. Edwards) 151
Happy Hour: The Pairings of Jasper Johns and Felix ­Gonzalez-Torres
(Christian Wurst) 162
Reflections on Nature and Self in the Work of Timm Ulrichs (Curt Germundson) 171
Uncanny Objects: Bruce Nauman’s Aesthetic of Anxiety (Maxim Leonid Weintraub) 178
Strange Selves: The Televised Double in Bjørn Melhus’s Das Zauberglas (Ann Jacobson) 184
Tracing the Uncanny: Francis Alÿs’ Doppelganger (1999–present)
and Déjà Vu (1996–present) Series (Andrés David Montenegro Rosero) 196
Doubling the Odds: Pregnancy, Femininity and Embodiment
in Nicola Costantino’s Trailer (2010) (Sophie Halart) 205
Mary D. Edwards 219
About the Contributors 227
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

Doppelgangers, Alter Egos and Mirror Images in Western Art, 1840–2010: Critical Essays offers a fascinating glimpse into the visual world of ‘doubles,’ a subject explored by every Western art movement across time. The essays in this book have presented a stimulating, erudite interpretation of the ‘double’ in numerous examples of art. Engaging and highly original, it invites the reader to explore the ‘double’ image in a thoughtful approach that broadens one’s knowledge of the aesthetic of the uncanny in the visual world of the ‘double.’”—Bonnie L. Kutbay, professor emeritus of art history, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania