In the 1780s Thomas Gainsborough (1727–88) painted a series of landscapes in oils on glass, which were viewed in a specially constructed 'showbox', described in this way:
"The machine consists of a number of glass planes, which are moveable…chiefly landscapes. They are lighted … at the back, and are viewed through a magnifying lens, by which means the effect produced is truly captivating.'
Gainsborough's 'showbox' contained a painted glass transparency, set before a silk diffusing screen that was originally lit by three candles. The image is viewed through the adjustable lens at the front. The box opens at the top and back and also contains slots for storing the transparencies.
Wooded Landscape with Herdsman Driving Cattle past a PoolThomas Gainsborough (1
Wooded Landscape with Herdsman Driving Cattle past a Pool, Thomas Gainsborough
Landscape with Peasants, Cows, Sheep, Cottages and PoolThomas Gainsborough (172
Landscape with Peasants, Cows, Sheep, Cottages and Pool, Thomas Gainsborough
A Wooded Landscape with a Herdsman and Two CowsThomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)
A Wooded Landscape with a Herdsman and Two Cows, Thomas Gainsborough
Wooded River Landscape with Figures on a Bridge, Cottage, Sheep and MountainsTh
Wooded River Landscape with Figures on a Bridge, Cottage, Sheep and Mountains, Thomas Gainsborough
Open Landscape with Shepherd, Sheep and PoolThomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)Abo
Open Landscape with Shepherd, Sheep and Pool, Thomas Gainsborough