Patrimoni cultural

Pre-19th century


Gerolamo Cardano applies the biconvex lens to a Camera Obscura and obtains a sharper, clearer image.

>> Watch video Tent camera obscura. New!!


Giovanni Battista della Porta publishes Magiae Naturalis, in which he describes a Camera Obscura with precision.

In the 17th century, shadow puppetry shows reach Western Europe.

>> Watch video shadow puppetry (La llum del cinema series).


The German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher publishes Ars Magna Lucis et umbrae, in which he describes projection experiments performed with mirrors and lenses.


Earliest description of a magic lantern, in the notes of Dutch scientist and astronomer Christiaan Huygens.

>> Watch video magic lantern.

>> Watch video magic lantern 1 (La llum del cinema series).

>> Watch video magic lantern 2 (La llum del cinema series).

>> Watch video anamorphic drawings 1 (La llum del cinema series).

>> Watch video anamorphic drawings 2 (La llum del cinema series).


The Dane Thomas Rasmussen Walgenstein is the first to perform public projections with a magic lantern.

1700 - c.1731

First optical boxes or Mondo Nuovo shows and beginning of the mass production of optical views.

>> Watch video Zograscope (La llum del cinema series).


S. J. Rhaneus describes the first glass plate for a magic lantern with a mechanism to make the projected image move.


Johann Heinrich Schulze demonstrates that silver nitrate turns black when exposed to the sunlight.


Englishman Robert Baker inaugurates the panorama in Edinburgh.


Belgian ╔tienne-Gaspard Robert, alias Robertson, begins his magic lantern shows, called Phantasmagorias, in Paris

>> Watch video Phantasmagoria (La llum del cinema series).