Happiness or its Absence in Art

Ronit Milano (Editor), William L Barcham (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The concept of 'happiness' is central to most civilized cultures. This volume investigates the many ways in which Western art has visualized the concept from the early Middle Ages to the present. Employing different methodological approaches, the essays gathered here situate the concept of human happiness within discourses on gender, religion, intellectual life, politics and 'New-Age' culture. Operating as a cultural agent, art communicates the idea of happiness as both a physical and spiritual condition by exploiting specific formulae of representation. This volume combines art history, cultural analyses and intellectual studies in order to explore the complexities of iconographic programs that represent various forms of happiness, or its explicit absence, and to expose the implications embedded in the artistic works in question. Through innovative readings, the ten authors presented in this book survey different artistic and/or cultural paradigms and offer new interpretations of happiness or of its absence.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages195
ISBN (Electronic)9781443868259
ISBN (Print)9781322180137
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • ART
  • Happiness in art


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