The Optical Camera Obscura II
19
Figure 8: 19
th
-century box-type cameras.
brochure is in the form of a 15 page poem, titled Verses occasioned by the sight of a chamera obscura
pictures to those of nature itself:
Say, rare Machine, who taught thee to design ?
And mimick Nature with such Skill divine ?
The Miracles of whose creative Glass,
Struck with Amaze, the superstitious Class, 
Of Fools, in * Bacon’s Days, and did for Witchcraft pass ; 
Productions strange ! [...]
How little is thy Cell ? How dark the Room ?
Disclose thine Eye-lid, and dispel this Gloom !
That radiant Orb reveal’d, smooth, pure, polite ;
In darts a sudden Blaze of beaming Light,
And stains the clear white Sheet, with Colours strong and
bright ; 
Exterior Objects painting on the Scroll,
True as the Eye presents ‘em to the Soul ;
A new Creation ! deckt with ev’ry Grace !
Form’d by thy Pencil, in a Moment’s Space !
As in a Nutshell, curious to behold ;
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Norma Wenczel
20
Great Homer’s Illiad was inscrib’d of old ;
So the wide World’s vast Volume, here, we see
To Miniature reduc’d, and just Epitome : [...]
How wou’d that Painter boast his Pencil’s Art ?
Who cou’d such Motions to his Piece impart ?
But, here, thou hast no Rival in thy Fame ;
‘Tis thine alone to copy Nature’s Frame, 
So strictly true, she seems the very same ;
In just Proportions ; Colours strong or faint ;
By Light and Shade ; without the Daub of Paint :
To animate the Picture, and inspire, 
Such Motions, as the Figures may require,
From Heav’n, Prometheus like, thou steal’st the sacred Fire.
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The Optical Camera Obscura II
21
C. R
EFLECTED
I
MAGE
P
ROJECTION
II – O
UTDOOR
E
XPERIENCES
the image is correctly oriented.
Figure 9: From Diderot’s and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie (1751-1780).
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Norma Wenczel
22
1620 Kepler and his tent-type camera obscura
The term camera obscura, more strictly camera clausa, was coined by Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
in his Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena (1604). The camera he used was no longer only a camera in
purposes. 
of it for Chorography [the making of maps and topographical views]: For otherwise, to make
(Reliquiae
Wottoniae, London 1651, pp. 413-414.)
Figure 10: Book-type camera, c. 1750.
1622 Drebble’s “Other Instrument”
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The Optical Camera Obscura II
23
brio.
and in a grandly pleasing fashion. (C. Huygens in a letter to his parents of April 13, 1622)
Figure 11: 19
th
-century tent-type camera.
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Norma Wenczel
24
D. T
HE
C
AMERA
O
BSCURA
AS
M
ODEL
OF
THE
E
YE
Eye and Oculus Artificialis
Figure 12: Leonardo’s view of the eye’s optics. From MS D, 1508.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) mentions the camera obscura in his Codex Atlanticus and
Manuscript D 
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The Optical Camera Obscura II
25
Figure 13: Artificial and natural eye. From Christopher Scheiner Rosa Ursina (1630).
Descartes and the Question of Perfection
same as the screen of the camera obscura. In his Dioptriques (1637), a very interesting and at the
they represent:
Disc. 4, transl. by
Anscombe and Geach)
Norma Wenczel
26
The Scioptric Ball
Figure 14: Scioptric Ball.
The Optical Camera Obscura II
27
E. A
N
A
STRONOMICAL
I
NSTRUMENT
Eclipses on the Screen
was greatly influenced by Alhazen, wrote in his De Multiplicatione Specierum as well as in his
Perspectiva about the principle of the camera obscura.
will appear far better and larger.
illustration of the event in his book De Radio Astronomica et Geometrica. It is the first published
Figure 15: From Gemma Frisius De Radio Astronomica (1546).
In his La Dioptrique Oculaire (1671), Cherubin d’Orleans (1613-1697) provides an illustration
Norma Wenczel
28
Figure 16: From Cherubin d’Orleans’ Dioptrique (1671).
Dark Patches on the Day Star
was one of the first to make serious studies of sunspots (1610).
In the 17
th
John Flamsteed
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