Abstract: This contribute explores the topic of shades and darkness in Vico’s philosophy from different perspectives and argues that this dimension is at the very heart of his genetic thought. The analysis first considers some elements of Vico’s critique of Cartesian philosophy and the French thinker’s idea of reason. Shadows and obscurity are also related on the one side to the Dipintura of the Scienza nuova in which they become visual characters of the image background and on the other side with the use of an essential concept introduced in the description of this image and expressed by the polysemic/enantiosemic word “aspetto”. The last part of the essay suggests that the dark background of the SN could be identified with the “ingens sylva”, the “huge (primordial) wood” a sort of pre-human, pre-rational errantic state, that philosophy is not able really to think although it should at the same time to deal with it to avoid the costant risk to fall back in it. In connection with this point we also raise the following questions: Could we identify this originary state with matriarchal societies? Could we find some matriarchal features in Vico’s patriarchal account of the orgin of human religious political and symbolic world?