Anamorphosis


Anamorphosis

Anamorphosis is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. "Ana - morphosis" comes from the Greek words meaning "formed again." In other languages: αναμόρφωση (or "reformation") (Greek), anamorphotisches Bild (German), anamorfosi (Italian), anamorfosis (Spanish), vertekend beeld (Dutch), anamorphose (French), anamorfoza (Polish), anamorfózis (Hungarian).

Types of projection

There are two main types of anamorphosis: Perspective (oblique) and Mirror (catoptric). Examples of perspectival anamorphosis date to the early Renaissance (15th Century), whereas examples of mirror anamorphosis (or catoptric anamorphosis) occurred at the time of the baroque (17th century).

With mirror anamorphosis, a conical or cylindrical mirror is placed on the drawing or painting to transform a flat distorted image into a three dimensional picture that can be viewed from many angles. The deformed image is painted on a plane surface surrounding the mirror. By looking uniquely into the mirror, the image appears undeformed. Current in the 1600s and 1700s, this process of anamorphosis made it possible to diffuse caricatures, erotic and scatologic scenes and scenes of sorcery for a confidential public.

These "anamorphoscopes" were invented in China and brought to Italy in the 16th century, about the time Renaissance artists like Leonardo da Vinci were mastering 3-D and discovering slant anamorphosis.

History of anamorphosis

"Leonardo's Eye" (Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1485) is the earliest known example of perspective anamorphosis. Hans Holbein the Younger is well known for incorporating this type of anamorphic trick. His painting "The Ambassadors" is the most famous example for anamorphosis, in which a distorted shape lies diagonally across the bottom of the frame. Viewing this from an acute angle transforms it into the plastic image of a skull. During the 17th century, Baroque trompe l'oeil murals often used this technique to combine actual architectural elements with an illusion. When standing in front of the art work in a specific spot, the architecture blends with the decorative painting.The dome and vault of the Church of St. Ignazio in Rome, painted by Andrea Pozzo, represented the pinnacle of illusion. Due to complaints of blocked light by neighbouring monks, Pozzo was commissioned to paint the ceiling to look like the inside of a dome, instead of actually constructing one. However, the ceiling is flat, and there is only one spot where the illusion is perfect and a dome looks real.

In 18th and in 19th century, anamorphic images had come to be used more as children's games than fine art. In the 20th century some artists wanted to renew the technique of anamorphosis. Important to mention Marcel Duchamp's interest in anamorphosis, some of his installations are paraphrases of anamorphoses (See The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even & The Large Glass). Salvador Dalí also utilized the effect in a number of his paintings. Jan Dibbets conceptual works, the so-called "perspective corrections" are examples of "linear" anamorphoses.

"Anamorphic" effects in the work of contemporary artists

The Swedish artist Hans Hamngren produced and exhibited a great deal of examples of the mirror anamorphosis in the 60s and 70s. Shigeo Fukuda Japanese artist has designed both types of anamorphosis in the 70s and 80s. Also Patrick Hughes (artist), Fujio Watanabe, István Orosz, Felice Varini, Matthew Ngui, Kelly Houle, Nigel Williams, and Judy Grace are fine artists creating anamorphic images.

Another example is the footpath chalk paintings of Kurt Wenner and Julian Beever where the chalk painting, the pavement and the architectural surroundings all become part of an illusion. Art of this style can be produced by taking a photograph of an object or setting at a sharp angle, then putting a grid over the photo, another, elongated grid on the footpath based on a specific perspective, and reproducing exactly the contents of one into the other, one square at a time.

Cinemascope, Panavision, Technirama and other widescreen formats use anamorphosis to project a wider image from a narrower film frame.

The system of anamorphic projection can be seen quite commonly on text written at a very flat angle on roadways — such as "Bus Lane" or "Children Crossing" — which is easily read by drivers who otherwise would have difficulty reading as the vehicle approaches the text; when the vehicle is nearly above the text, its true abnormally elongated shape can be seen. Similarly, in many sporting stadiums, especially in Rugby football in Australia, it is used to promote company brands which are painted onto the playing surface; from the television camera angle, the writing appear as signs standing vertically within the field of play.

On some 0.5 liter Sprite bottles in Europe, an extra "bar code" was present. When the bottle is tilted towards the mouth while drinking, the bar code resolves into writing due to the anamorphic effect.Fact|date=May 2008In the 2008 detective film "Anamorph", the plot line revolves around the solution of gruesome anamorphically distorted images.

ee also

* Anamorphic format, a widescreen film technique
* Anamorphic widescreen, a widescreen video encoding concept
* Image warping

Artists

* Hans Holbein the Younger
* Andrea Pozzo
* Shigeo Fukuda
* István Orosz
* Felice Varini
* Dan Collins [http://www.kreysler.com/projects/George%20Washington/georgewashington.htm]
* Eric Conklin
* Georges Rousse

Bibliography

*Baltrusaitis, Jurgis: Anamorphoses ou Thaumaturgus opticus. Flammarion, Paris, 1984.
*Cole, Alison: Perspective. Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 1992.
*Collins, Daniel L.: Anamorphosis and the Eccentric Observer. Leonardo, Berkeley, 1992.
*Damisch, Hubert: L’Origine de la perspective. Flammarion, Paris, 1987.
*Du Breuil, La Pere: La Perspective pratique. Paris, 1649.
*Foister, Susan, Roz Ashok, Wyld Martin: Holbein’s Ambassadors. National Gallery Publications, London
*Houle, Kelly: Portrait of Escher: Behind the Mirror. M.C. Escher's Legacy. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 2003.
*Kircher, Athanasius: Ars Magna lucis et umbrae in decem Libros digesta. Roma, 1646.
*Lanners, Edi: Illusionen. VerlagC.J.Bucher GmbH, München und Luzern, 1973.
*Leemann, Fred: Anamorphosen. DuMont Buchverlag, Köln, 1975.
*Leemann, Fred: Hidden Images. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, NewYork, 1976.
*Maignan, Emmanuel: Perspectiva horaria, sive de Horographia gnomonica…. Roma, 1648.
*Mastai, M.L.d’Otrange: Illusion in Art. Abaris Books, New York, 1975.
*Niceron, Jean-Francois: La Perspective curieuse ou magie artificelle des effets merveilleux. Paris, 1638.
*Niceron, Jean-Francois: Thaumaturgus opticus, seu Admiranda optices per radium directum, catoptrices per radium reflectum. Paris, 1646.
*North, John: The Ambassadors’ Secret. Hamblendon and London, London, 2002.
*Orosz István: Artistic Expression of Mirror, Reflection and Perspective. Symmetry 2000. Portland Press, London, 2002.
*Orosz István: The Mirrors of the Master. Escher Legacy. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 2003.
*Shickman, Allan: “Turning Pictures” in Shakespeare’s England. University of N. Iowa, Cedar Falls Ia. Art Bulletin LIX/1 Mar. 1977.
*Sakane, Itsuo: A Museum of Fun (The Expanding Perceptual World) The Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, 1979 (Part I.) 1984 (Part II.)
*Schott, Gaspar: Magia universalis naturae et artis. Würzburg, 1657.
*The Arcimboldo Effect. (exhibition catalogue - Palazzo Grassi, Velence) Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, Bompiani, Milano, 1987.
*Stephen and Timothy Quay: De Artificiali Perspectiva, or Anamorphosis (1991)(film)

External links

* [http://3dnauta.com Anamorphosis 3d multiples]
* [http://www.illusionworks.com/mod/anamorph.htm# Animations of anamorphosis of Leonardo and other artists]
* [http://www.anamorphosis.com/ Phillip Kent: Art of Anamorphosis]
* [http://www.hollandslicht.nl/www/html/ned/interv/jan_d.htm/ Jan Dibbets]
* [http://www.patrickhughes.co.uk/ Patrick Hughes]
* [http://www.gallery-diabolus.com/gallery/artist.php?id=utisz&page=133 Contemporary works]
* [http://www.kellymhoule.com/anamorphic_art_frameset.htm Kelly Houle]
* [http://www.utisz.net/ István Orosz]
* [http://www.tringalis.com/ Sergio Tringali]
* [http://illusionworks.com/mod/fukuda.htm# Shigeo Fukuda]
* [http://www.welshartsarchive.org.uk/galleries/nigel_landscapes.html]
* [http://users.skynet.be/mathema/ Descriptive Geometry and Anamorphoses]
* [http://www.peinturemurale.com/ Examples of anamorphosis in murals]
* [http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/eiffel.html The amazing sidewalk art of Julian Beever!]
* [http://www.opto-engineering.com/pericentric.htm The 'Pericentric' lens - makes anamorphic circular images from cylindrical objects]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • anamorphosis — (n.) distorted projection or drawing that looks normal from a particular angle or with a certain mirror, 1727, from Gk. anamorphosis transformation, noun of action from anamorphoein to transform, from ana up (see ANA (Cf. ana )) + morphosis, from …   Etymology dictionary

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  • anamorphosis — [ˌanə mɔ:fəsɪs] noun a distorted image which appears normal when viewed from a particular point or with a suitable mirror or lens. ↘the process by which such images are produced. Derivatives anamorphic adjective Origin C18: from Gk anamorphōsis… …   English new terms dictionary

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