<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions

[Camera obscura].

[Germany?], [mid-19th century]
Physical Description:
1 camera obscura ; 8.3 cm high x 7.8 cm in diameter
Unable to reach service. Holdings currently not available
Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
"[A camera obscura is a] light-tight box with a small hole in one side, sometimes fitted with a lens, through which light from a well-lit scene or object enters to form an inverted image on a screen placed opposite the hole. A mirror then reflects the image, right way up, on to a drawing surface where its outlines can be traced. The camera obscura was the direct precursor of the modern camera, and its use by earlier artists can be compared to that made of the camera by artists of the 19th and 20th centuries."--Harvey.
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Harvey, J.C. "Camera obscura." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online.
Kemp, M. Science of art, p. 188, etc.
Small camera obscura with lens, reflecting mirror, and glass, used as a drawing aid. The device may be of German manufacture, from the mid-19th century. The main body of the camera obscura is made of a paper-board tube--with flat surfaces at each end--the exterior of which is covered in blue marbled paper. The top is covered by a cap, similarly constructed, which when removed reveals the glass surface on to which the camera's image is projected. The image enters the camera via a lens tube (32 mm in diameter) protruding from the side of the instrument; this lens also has a removable cap.
It is likely that the present camera obscura was intended as a toy or curiosity, as the glass tracing surface is too small to be considered practical.
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools -- Specimens.
Optical instruments.
Image-projecting equipment.
Camera obscuras.

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.