Magic Lantern: Cinema before Cinema

linterna mágicaThe magic lantern was from its conception in the 17th century the queen of the cinema and still managed to survive the new cinematographic spectacle for several years. The device was used to project painted images on glass plates and also, already in the second half of the 19th century, photographs on the same support. The illustration, which shows two magic lanterns placed in parallel to produce (in this case by rear projection) the striking fading effects known as "dissolving views" or "dissolving pictures", is attached to a letter dated May 24, 1898 with the that José G. Caballero goes from Barcelona to the Guadalajara City Council to offer him the exhibition of his collection of views during the traditional October festivities: «We have more than 2,000 views with two, three and more light effects, representing day passages and at night, portraits, writings, museum interiors, sunrises and moonrises, passing trains, shipwrecks, ruins of notable buildings, volcano eruptions, fires, snowfalls and chromotropes».

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