Night and Day: Illumination from behind…



Carlo Ponti (attributed), General view of the Cathedral, Milan, ca. 1875



Carlo Ponti (attributed), Palais et place d’ arms, Versailles, ca. 1875

The Megalethoscope was patented in 1862 by Swiss born Carlo Ponti (1823-1893). Ponti (not the husband of Sophia Loren), was an optician and photographer.
The hand-colored albumen and canvas slides, 11 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches, are an early form of animation. When they are illuminated from behind the static and placid landscape is transformed into a colorful, at times playful and fantastical, nocturnal tableau (transcending the temporal limitations of a single photograph and temporal excess of a structuralist film); more than a mirror with a memory, this is a photo with a future (and past).

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