'Horse seen with an oblique view', early 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This anamorphic picture of a horse was listed as one of the demonstrations of perspective in the earliest syllabus of Dr Stephen Demainbray (1710-82), a science lecturer of the 18th century. In later ones he simply gives 'different anamorphic perspectives'. Anamorphic pictures were common in the eighteenth century and were used with a cylindrical mirror, which, when placed over a distorted picture, revealed a recognisable image. Horses are common subjects. This example is painted on beech in a pine frame.