Saturday, June 08, 2013

A Regency Magic Lantern

SANDBY, Paul The Laterna Magica c 1760
Before moving pictures.  Before silent film.  Before black and white.  Before Clara Bow and Charlie Chaplin.

There was the Magic Lantern.

Let's say you're a Regency thrillseeker, out to squeeze all possible enjoyment from an evening.  You might go to a Magic Lantern show at a friend's house. You might put one on yourself.

Jan_Vermeer_van_Delft_019People had known more or less forever that light shining through colored glass carried that color to where the light fell.  Every stained glass window in Europe, even every translucent leaf in the sunlight, every light source shining through colored glass cast an image.

The beauty of that.  A picture painted in light.

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  1. Really fascinating!

    1. So much would depend on who put the shows on. With a good actor, these must have been wonderful.

      I'd like to see a really sophisticated shadow puppet show someday. I think it must be somewhat similar.