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Posts Tagged ‘magic lantern slides

“His way had therefore come full circle, or rather had taken the form of an ellipse or a spiral”*…

Simply elaborate, elaborately simple…

Christ gazes out of the page dolefully, head canted and haloed. He seems to float, disembodied, between our world and the next. And, at first, we could step back in sympathy, shocked by the blood that drips like teardrops from those baleful thorns. But something else soon catches light. It might be the ringed texture of his eyeshine or that fingerprint whorl on the nose’s tip. Then we notice the print’s corners, where curves recede as waves do from a skipping stone. It can’t be, we think — but it is. This image was made with a single line…

The full story at: “An Iconic Line: Claude Mellan’s The Sudarium of Saint Veronica (1649),” from @PublicDomainRev.

* Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game


As we’re tempted to trace, we might recall that it was on this date in 1850 that photographer Frederick Langenheim was issued U.S. Patent #7,784 for “Improvement in photographic pictures on glass,” a process of rendering photographic images on glass plates– magic lantern slides.

Prior to 1850, most magic lantern slides were hand-painted on glass, or created using a transfer method to reproduce many copies of a single etching or print; the development of photographic slides created entirely new uses for the magic lantern, from university lectures to amateur family photo shows… to “Coming Attractions” advertisements in theaters in the silent film era.



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