The Looking Glass

Artist David Hockney has a theory that some of the "old master" portrait painters secretly used cameras(!) to help them sketch their subjects. No, he's not saying that they had Polaroids or film. However, the camera obscura was available in the early 18th century, and the more practical camera lucida was invented in 1807. Did the great artists use these devices? If they did, was that "cheating"?

Pick Attribution: 

Lawrence Weschler

Publication Date: 
Monday, January 31, 2000