Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(825 words)

On June 19, 1787, the Irish portraitist and miniaturist Robert Barker patented an invention that he called “la nature à coup d'oeil,” “nature at a glance” [2]. The patent describes a mimetic image, applied to the interior of a rotunda made for the purpose, which even when lit indirectly from above appears so true to life as to be taken for reality. Further heightening the illusionistic effect, Barker’s viewer would approach a roofed platform via a darkened passageway. This would enforce a specific distance from the pic…

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Büttner, Nils, “Panorama”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 04 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_025229>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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