Peep-show, The Carnival of Venice, 1730–50
Eighteenth-century audiences were delighted by objects that combined art and optical illusion. This peepshow is one of many designed by Martin Engelbrecht that layers several cut-out prints to create a greater sense of perspective. Scenic theater and opera designs were popular peepshow subjects, and this imagined vista borrows from contemporary principles of stage design. Since most peepshow operators concealed their optical mechanisms in large boxes, passersby were also attracted to the mysteries of how the effects were produced.
Its dimensions are
One of 6 total prints, each print: 9.6 × 15 cm (3 3/4 × 5 7/8 in.)
Cite this object as
Peep-show, The Carnival of Venice, 1730–50; Germany; engraving, brush and watercolor on white paper; One of 6 total prints, each print: 9.6 × 15 cm (3 3/4 × 5 7/8 in.); Gift of Mrs. James Ward Thorne; 1937-38-8-a