Printed anamorphosis which shows a portrait of French Emperor Napoleon III.

Anamorphosis is a perspective technique whereby an image which appears distorted when viewed normally, appears normal and without distortion when viewed in a curved mirror (anamorphoscope), or perceived from a particular angle. The technique used to reconstitute the image depends on the type of distortion used to create the image. This particular image is a catoptric anamorphosis and requires a cylindrical mirror to see the picture normally.

The word anamorphosis comes from the Greek 'to transform'. While the word was initially used in the 17th century, the technique itself derives from the study of perspective during the 14th and 15th centuries.

Napoleon III was Emperor of France from 1852-1870.

This image is part of the Francis Collection of pre-cinematic apparatus and ephemera, acquired by the Australian and Victorian Governments in 1975. David Francis was the curator of the National Film and Sound Archive of the British Film Institute as well as being a co-founder of the Museum of the Moving Image in London, which was operational between 1988 and 1999.

Description of Content

Distorted image of Emperor Napoleon III of France.

Physical Description

Single sheet light card; coloured lithograph on discoloured white background.

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