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Drawing or painting technique that gives a distorted image of the subject when seen from the usual viewpoint, but when viewed from a particular angle or reflected in a curved mirror shows it in true proportion. Its purpose is to amuse or mystify. It was a curious by-product of the discovery of perspective in the 14th–15th century and was regarded as a display of technical virtuosity. The first examples appear in Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on anamorphosis, visit Britannica.com.