In 1996, the Museum aquired a monumental transparency created by Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle. This work, Figures Walking in a Parkland, will be displayed at the Museum for the first time in a new exhibition, Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th-Century Motion Picture.
Among the forerunners of the modern motion picture, the transparency was a pictorial narrative that suggested animation when rolled through the aperture of a hand-cranked optical viewing box. Illuminated with jewel-like watercolors, the Getty's 12-foot transparency shows people strolling at leisure through a park rich in monuments, temples, and amusements. A viewing box like those used by Carmontelle also will be shown, as well as other drawings of the period."