Stereograph / Stereoview Card of a Risqué French Model Posing 766 ~ French Model X278 ~ after 1892

This card depicts a French model scantly dressed resting on a table with a cigarette in her hand. These are done in sepia tones giving in a nice old contrast. Stereographs are two photographs mounted side by side and appear three-dimensional when inspected with a viewer. Stereoscopic photographic views (stereographs) were immensely popular in the United States and Europe from about the mid-1850s through the early years of the 20th century. The stereoscope (with its illusion of three dimensions and indeterminate scale) proved irresistible to the makers and consumers of erotic art. The curvature found in this and many other stereographs is deliberate, and not the result of age-related deterioration. The curved mount was thought to aid the illusion of depth better than a flat mount. The viewer's sense of voyeurism is further enhanced by the way one looks at stereographs: privately, as if spying through the keyhole.

Stereographs (also know as stereograms, stereoviews and stereocards) present three-dimensional (3D) views of their subjects, enabling armchair tourists to have a "you are there" experience. The term "stereo" is derived from the Greek word for "solid," so a "stereograph" is a picture that depicts its subject so that it appears solid. Stereographs feature two photographs or printed images positioned side by side, one for the left eye and one for the right. When a viewer uses a stereoscope, a device for viewing stereographs, these two flat images are combined into a single image that gives the illusion of depth. Stereoscopes work the way that vision works. Since our two eyes are positioned about two inches apart, we see everything from two slightly different angles, which our brain then processes into a single picture that has spatial depth and dimension. In 1838, Charles Wheatstone published a paper that provided the scientific basis for stereography, showing that the brain unifies the slightly different two-dimensional images from each eye into a single object of three dimensions. Wheatstone's early stereographs were drawings rather than photographs. Paper stereographs mounted on flat cards were generally produced between 1857 and 1890, while those mounted on a "warped" gray card were generally produced after 1892.

Cardboard size 7 x 3 ½" picture size 3" x 3"

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