Friday, June 22, 2007

An anamorphic painting of a ship, c 1744-1774

Oooh, pretty.

From ingenious:

Picture number: 10309036
Credit:Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

Caption: An anamorphic painting, a composition that can only be viewed with a special mirror that restores the deformed image. This example was originally attributed to Van de Velde, a Dutch artist, but its origins are now uncertain. Painted on a wooden panel, the painting is unrecognisable until a cylindrical mirror is placed at its centre over a circular portrait of a lady. Viewed from above, a sailing ship without rigging will suddenly heave in sight. Paintings of this type were quite popular during the 18th century, especially anamorphic portraits that concealed the identity of the sitter from prying eyes.

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