Monday, 6 January 2014

The Magic Lantern

The Magic Lantern was not a moving image as such, but it was an image that was projected which Christian Huygens created in 1650, a huge revelation which I felt lead to the recording of the moving image and making moving images.  (The first Magic lantern was a device that projected images via candlelight)

My favourite Magic Lantern Slides are the Alice and Wonderland scenes hand painted by W R Hill in 1876. The imagery is just beautiful in both composition and colouring, which holds a painted and dip pen quality of line. 

In my opinion the first moving image was the Victorian toy, Thaumatrope, which when flipped fast gives the illusion of both sides of the toy merging together. The Thaumatrope was created by John Paris in 1824 and the most common one being of a bird and a cage. This then lead to the invention of the Phenakistoscope.

The Phenakistoscope was invented by two people at the same time in different countries in 1831, Plateau and Von Stampfer. The device functions by drawing the stages of the animation around the edge of the circular plate, which would then be spun to show the movement of the imagery. 
My favourite is the Phenakistoscope that contains mice running from the centre and crawling over the edge of the disc, I feel that this design is so innovative and uses a less circular shape than the rest of the Phenakistoscopes as to show the mouse crawl underneath the disc. 

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