This book explores the history and continuing relevance of melancholia as an amorphous but richly suggestive theme in literature, music, and visual culture, as well as philosophy and the history of ideas. Inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s engraving Melencolia I (1514)—the first visual representation of artistic melancholy—this volume brings together contributions by scholars from a variety of disciplines. Topics include: Melencolia I and its reception; how melancholia inhabits landscapes, soundscapes, figures and objects; melancholia in medical and psychological contexts; how melancholia both enables and troubles artistic creation; and Sigmund Freud’s essay "Mourning and Melancholia" (1917).

chapter |12 pages


The Persistence of Melancholia in Arts and Culture
ByAndrea Bubenik

chapter 1|16 pages

Hearts on Fire

Renaissance Portraiture and Erotic Melancholy
ByLaurinda S. Dixon

chapter 2|20 pages

Between the Angel and the Dog

Dürer’s Melancholy Community
ByDrew Daniel

chapter 3|19 pages

Dürer, Music, and Melencolia I

ByDenis Collins

chapter 4|26 pages

The Shape of Things to Come

Dürer’s Polyhedron
ByAndrea Bubenik

chapter 5|13 pages

On Vanishing Land (2013)

The Eerie, W. G. Sebald, and English Hauntology
ByRex Butler

chapter 6|15 pages

After the End

The Temporality of Melancholia
ByAmelia Barikin

chapter 7|22 pages

The Melancholy Art*

ByMichael Ann Holly

chapter 8|19 pages

Temporal Turbulence

In Praise of Anachronism 1
ByMieke Bal

chapter 9|13 pages

Facing Melancholia

Racial Implications of the Disengaged Gaze
BySally Butler

chapter 10|17 pages

The Melancholic Horizon in Australian Landscape Art

ByAllison Holland

chapter 11|11 pages

Against a Melancholic Art History

The Afterlife of Images
ByChari Larsson