Anamorphic art – Art by Remco Kingmans

Anamorphic art


The word "anamorphosis" originates in the the Greek.
"Ana" meaning "back" or "again" in Greek.
The word morphe in Greek means "shape" or "form".
A meaning of the English "morph" is a gradual change from one shape to another.

Anamorphosis in art is changing a shape, the perspective of the spectator plays a vital role. Usually distorted projections forces the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point in order to perceive the artwork as intended by the artist. 
While I create 3D anamorphic art most anamorphic artworks are 2D. There are two main types of 2D anamorphosis: Mirror (catoptric) and perspective (oblique).
Mirror anamorphosis is when the distortion of a mirror is integrated in the artwork itself. The final piece includes a clearly distorting mirror while that distortion is not there to be seen. 

Mirror anamorphosis

Perspective (oblique) anamorphosis is the oldest form of anamorphic art. The two examples below show this technique.


Anamorphic cave art

Anamorphic art can be traced back all the way back to the stone age. Some of the cave paintings are elongated to make up for the oblique angles of the cave wall. The spectator has to look straight it for the right perspective.

Codex Atlanticus

The first anamorphic work of art to be recorded is created by Leonardo da Vinci. It is included in the Codex Atlanticus (1483-1518). When looked at from the front the eye is extremely elongated. When approached from an angle a normal eye appears. This is the same technique as used in the cave painting above.

Hans Holbein the Younger - The Ambassadors

The painting "The Ambassadors" (1533) by Hans Holbein the Younger plays with the same concept. Here an elongated skull can be seen in a prominent position. Why the artist choose to do this is unclear. One theory is that the painting was suppose to be hung in a stairway, when looked down at it it would symbolically represent death. Classic metaphors for the living world and the heavens are seen in the background. 

Present day

Anamorphic streetart by Julian Beever

Today most anamorphic art can be found on the streets. The image above is a work by Julian Beever. 

My sculptures are 3D versions of anamorphic art. These are quite hard to find compared to the 2D versions but you're in luck and currently on exactly the right website!  



Iconic pictures