Sunday, June 5, 2022


A zograscope is an optical device with a large lens that enhances the impression of three-dimensional depth in a flat image.

It was a parlour amusement of the 17th and 18th centuries. According to Wikipedia,

"Some artists from the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age painting, like Pieter Janssens Elinga and Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten created a type of peep shows with an illusion of depth perception by manipulating the perspective of the view seen inside, usually the interior of a room. From around 1700 many of such "perspective boxes" or "optica" had a bi-convex lens with a large diameter and small dioptre for an exaggerated perspective, giving a stronger illusion of depth. Most pictures showed architectural and topographical subjects with linear perspectives."

Engraved views with enhanced perspective called vue d'optiques were created for this purpose.

1 comment:

Astrid van de Kuilen said...

Very interesting, I am Dutch myself and a lot of amazing art was created here in the 17th century. At that time trompe- l’oeil art was very popular and apparantly they also tried to make 2D look (more) 3D in other ways. Thank you James for all the interesting info you share with us!