Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Shadow Dance

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Shadow Dance
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Martin Lewis


Shadow Dance

Creation Date


Medium & Support

drypoint on paper


9 7/16 in. x 10 7/8 in. (23.9 cm. x 27.7 cm.)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Susan Dwight Bliss

Accession Number



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Martin Lewis was well-respected in the art world for his careful attention to detail and expert technique. The artist Edward Hopper cited his apprenticeship with the printmaker as inspiration for the consolidation of his individual style. Rather than manipulating the image through inking treatments, Lewis produced detailed prints by etching directly onto the plate with a fine dry point needle. For example, in order to achieve the appearance of transparent fabric, he scratched a network of dots, lines and flecks onto the plate. In the resulting impression, several groups of people stride down a busy New York street toward the viewer. A trio of cloche-hatted women occupies the mid-ground, appearing almost entirely in silhouette against the radiating sun behind them. This dramatic backlighting of the women's gauzy, fluttering skirts suggestively reveals their legs, and casts long shadows that playfully dance on the pavement, keeping pace with the women's buoyant stride. This remarkable study in contrast, movement, and design is emblematic of Lewis's nuanced use of dry point, and is among his best-known works.

Portfolios: FEAT|Modern Art