History’s Shadow: X-rays of Art Antiquities


David Maisel, from History’s Shadow

Photographer David Maisel collaborated with major art museums to create a series of stunning photos of x-rays of antique statues, sculptures and fragile vessels. The title of the series is History’s Shadow, and the results are immediately compelling as they draw you in through multiple milky layers of translucent materials that could never be seen with the naked eye.

Thanks to the miracle of x-rays, we’re able to see all of the surface features (front, back and sides, all at once), as well as the inner areas that display some pentimento-like traces of the artists’ hands plus the pins, nails, staples and struts that support these beautiful old works of art. Welcome .

Maisel’s photos are beautifully eerie, ghost-like, and almost alive. It is as if we can visually see someone’s thought process, suspended and preserved, from hundreds of years ago.


David Maisel, from History’s Shadow

Be sure to view the work in our high-resolution slide show, and read David’s insightful text about this project.


David Maisel, from History’s Shadow

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