Louis Carrogis Carmontelle

Louis Carrogis Carmontelle (15 August 1717 – 26 December 1806) was a French dramatist, painter, architect, set designer and author, and designer of one of the earliest examples of the French landscape garden, Parc Monceau in Paris. He also invented the transparent, an early ancestor of the magic lantern and motion picture, for viewing moving bands of landscape paintings.

In the last years of his life, he pioneered a new invention for showing paintings in motion, which was a distant ancestor of the motion picture. In 1783 he began working on what he termed "décors transparents animés." These were paintings of landscapes on long bands of paper, fifty centimeters high and as many as forty two meters long. These were mounted on two wooden rollers in a box, with the light of day coming into the box from behind and passing through the paper. The landscapes were slowly rolled from one roll to the other, giving the illusion of a walk in the garden. The first moving landscapes he titled "Landscapes of France," "English Gardens," "The Seasons," and "The Banks of the Seine." One of the moving landscapes is preserved at the Museum of Sceaux.

There is an article on Louis Carmontelle by Monique Mosser in Créateurs de jardins et de paysages en France de la Renaissance au début du XIXe siècle Actes Sud, École Nationale Superieure du Paysage, 2001.

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