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Wikipedia article

'Giphantie' is a novel by Tiphaigne de la Roche, Charles-Franois published in 1760.

It is most famous for predicting the modern day process of photography according to M. W. Marien.

An excerpt from the novel


You know, that rays of light reflected from different bodies form pictures, paint the image reflected on all polished surfaces, for example, on the retina of the eye, on water, and on glass. The spirits have sought to fix these fleeting images; they have made a subtle matter by means of which a picture is formed in the twinkling of an eye. They coat a piece of canvas with this matter, and place it in front of the object to be taken. The first effect of this cloth is similar to that of a mirror, but by means of its viscous nature the prepared canvas, as is not the case with the mirror, retains a facsimile of the image. The mirror represents images faithfully, but retains none; our canvas reflects them no less faithfully, but retains them all. This impression of the image is instantaneous. The canvas is then removed and deposited in a dark place. An hour later the impression is dry, and you have a picture the more precious in that no art can imitate its truthfulness.http://photographyhistory.blogspot.com/2008/01/giphantie-prophecy-of-photography-and.html


Category:1760 novels

Category:Precursors of photography

Category:1760s fantasy novels

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