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Brook Taylor (based on work by) 
Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century gave a description of the camera obscura 
16th century 
  
Drawing 
Private collection 
 
LL/31675 
  
This drawing is commonly found on the Internet as an illustration of the camera obscura but it is problematic. The drawing is based on an illustration by Brook Taylor in 1835 from his work Dr. Brook Taylor's Principles of Linear Perspective; or, The Art of Designing on a Plane - The Representation of all Sorts of Objects, as They Appear to the Eye (London: M. Taylor) [New Edition by Joseph Jopling]. Figure 12 on page 9 of the book is similar to this one but missing the toga-clad figure, and is to show the principles of linear perspective rather than a camera obscura.
 
(With thanks to Dr. Theodoros Natsinas, pers. email, 27 July 2013) 
 

 
  
 
  
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