Claude glass

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A small tinted mirror, with a slightly convex surface, used for reflecting landscapes in miniature so as to show their broad tonal values, without distracting detail or colour. The device is named after Claude, who is said to have used one, and was particularly popular in the 18th century, when it was much employed by cultural travellers as well as by artists (the poet Thomas Gray is known to have had one). Its use continued into the 19th century, a notable devotee being Corot, who regarded tonal unity in painting as supremely important.

Subjects: Art.

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