The case of the disappearing medieval buildings…

As we were scanning another box of late 19th century lantern slides, we came across this lovely picture of the Duomo in Florence (Firenze), Italy….

The Duomo, Florence, c.1890

Janice thought she had taken a very similar picture on a recent holiday, and brought her photograph in so that we could compare Florence then and now…

Janice's photograph

But when we put the two images side-by-side, something seems to be missing from the older picture – several medieval buildings have mysteriously disappeared!


The illusion of the disappearing buildings is created by distance and perspective. Although the images look similar at first glance, the modern picture is taken from very much further away from the Duomo than the original, and Janice was taking her photograph from a slightly different angle. Buildings which were outside the frame of the Victorian image appear in Janice’s photograph.

About Archaeology Archives Administrator

Researchers in the archives of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford. Home of the Historic Environment Image Resource. Passionate about old photographs and fresh biscuits.
This entry was posted in Archives Progress, HEIR, Lantern Slides, Photography, Tracking the Future of the Past, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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