The most famous optical illusionary art forms in the world is the anamorphosis.“The word Anamorphosis is of Greek origin, derived from the word ‘ana’ meaning again and the word ‘morphe’ meaning shape.” It is a mind-blowing piece of art whose history dates back to the 15th century.It remains such, as it causes people to blink their eyes.The weird yet fantastic designs artists can come up with anamorphosis is impressive when they smush their paintings.
“Anamorphosis art is an art form which tricks your eyes by using a different perspective. All you see will be only some irregular twirls on a flat surface”. Anamorphosis is an ancient rather very old art form. It can be considered very ancient because some historians particularly art historians say that this painting technique was used for painting caves of Lascaux.The particular art form is a distortion of the picture so that it looks in perspective from a certain angle alone.In Lascaux, The horses and bison pictured on the cave walls look distorted from all angles except when seen from the floor below.
There are two types in this particular art form namely Mirror(Catoptric) and Perspective(Oblique).References of perspective anamorphosis can be traced to the early renaissance. While the first references of mirror anamorphosis were seen in the late renaissance. A mirror Anamorphosis is that the viewer can see the clear image or picture in the mirror that surrounds the distorted image. While in perspective, it is from one angle that a viewer is able to see the clear picture.
One of the most famous images of the anamorphosis is undoubtedly the paintings of Hans Holbein. The Ambassadors his master painting had two opulently dressed men standing amidst a room filled with symbols. The Paintings would be marred with white and gray smudges across the bottom. A viewer when walking down would be able to decipher a 3D Skull slowly. The painting gave two meanings.1)Staring straight at Human’s achievements.2)All men great and small would finally end up to be just a piece of skull.
Another famous creation of this art of illusions in the history is the dome of Saint Ignazio.The dome never exists.The brothers who built the church wanted a dome which never materialized.Tired of the disappointing dome, they asked artist Andrea Pozzo to paint the ceiling.The dome above looked strange and distorted however from one perspective it seems like one massive beautiful dome.
Leonardo Da-Vinci is one of the earliest known artist of the modern Anamorphosis.After which we have had the above-mentioned artists who have been credited for creating master pieces in this particular art forms. Then we have had many artists popular in this art form like Jean-Max Albert, Julian Beever,Joe Hills, Leon Keer,edgar Muller, Tracy Lee Stum, Kurt Wenner etc., and todays AS Virdi.
The uses of anamorphosis is quite common in road markings. The only problem with the same is that the viewer has to view the image from the right perspective. Writing text on road uses this art for oblique viewing by drivers specially motorists. However these are the only best ways to create road markings. Writings on shop windows uses this art form. Mirror Anamorphosis is used for the ambulances In the ancient past, Thesedrawings were created as secret images to hide erotic or images of political nature.
Anamorphosis is also considered the 3D tech. It let the images or the objects of the images showcased in a way that they had some depth. Earlier, it was the nudes that were painted with this popular art form. An image of a nude with an appendage either a hand or foot were painted in this style. An object like a ball or reflective pillar would be added to the painting to make the viewers feel that the image is extending its hand or foot from one particular perspective. The other conventional paintings were just a mess of smashed colors with just a pillar in between. From the pillar, the picture would be so perfect while, from the other angles it would be just an indecipherable secret.
Anamorphosis remains a classic in all art forms. We have children’s toys and activity books that showcase this art form illusions. Artists like Holbein and modern painters like AS Virdi will showcase this art style and ability to paint this illusionary perspective.