peep show

peep show
1. a display of objects or pictures viewed through a small opening that is usually fitted with a magnifying lens.
2. a short, usually erotic or titillating film shown in a coin-operated viewing machine equipped with a projector.
[1850-55]

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children’s toy
      children's toy and scientific curiosity, usually consisting of a box with an eyehole, through which the viewer sees a miniature scene or stage setting, painted or constructed in perspective. Peep shows of an earlier time are often the only accurate representation of the stage design and scenery of the period.

      The earliest known peep shows are the perspective views said to have been painted in transparent colours on glass and lighted from behind for various effects, from sunshine to moonlight, by Leon Battista Alberti (Alberti, Leon Battista) in 1437. Later models (some preserved in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna) have designs that are apparently patterned on Renaissance court masques and pageants, such as that of the discovery of Diana by Actaeon, with fully modelled figures set against a background painted in careful perspective.

      In the 17th century, peep shows in their cabinets were often exhibited in the streets by itinerant showmen, and the device became a popular children's toy. Some, equipped with movable scenery and wooden or cardboard figures, developed into the juvenile theatres of the 19th century (see toy theatre). The peep show was also the precursor of many types of optical toys, including the stereoscope and the magic lantern.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • peep-show — [ pipʃo ] n. m. • v. 1980; mot angl. « spectacle osé, risqué » ♦ Établissement qui propose la location de cabines individuelles où l on peut voir, à travers une vitre, un spectacle pornographique. ⇒ mirodrome. Des peep shows. ● peep show, peep… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Peep-show — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Peep Show (album) et Peep Show (série télévisée). Un Peep show est, en anglais, un spectacle vu à travers une ouverture. En français cependant, cela désigne plus spécifiquement des spectacles érotiques ou… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Peep Show — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Peep Show (album) et Peep Show (série télévisée). Un Peep show est, en anglais, un spectacle vu à travers une ouverture. En français cependant, cela désigne plus spécifiquement des spectacles érotiques ou… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Peep-Show — Sf (Kabinen mit einer durch ein kleines Fenster gegen Entgelt zu betrachtenden nackten Frau) per. Wortschatz grupp. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. peep show, zu ne. peep durch eine kleine Öffnung sehen , dessen weitere Herkunft nicht… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Peep show — Peep Peep, n. 1. The cry of a young chicken; a chirp. [1913 Webster] 2. First outlook or appearance. [1913 Webster] Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn. Gray. [1913 Webster] 3. A sly look; a look as through a crevice, or from a place of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • peep-show — s.m.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} spettacolo erotico al quale si assiste da cabine individuali attraverso una feritoia o uno specchio che permette di non essere visti | locale in cui si effettua tale spettacolo {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1983. ETIMO …   Dizionario italiano

  • peep show — (izg. pȋp šȍu) m DEFINICIJA razg. erotska predstava (ob. striptiz) koju gledatelji, svaki iz posebne kabine, kako bi ostali neviđeni, gledaju kroz otvor; vrijeme je ograničeno iznosom ubačene kovanice/žetona ETIMOLOGIJA engl. ≃ peep: viriti + v.… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • peep show — peep′ show n. 1) mot a short, usu. erotic film shown in a coin operated machine equipped with a projector 2) a display of objects or pictures viewed through a small opening usu. fitted with a magnifying lens • Etymology: 1850–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • peep show — ► NOUN ▪ a form of entertainment in which pictures are viewed through a lens or hole set into a box …   English terms dictionary

  • peep show — n. 1. a pictured scene or group of objects, as in a box, viewed through a small opening, sometimes with a magnifying lens 2. an erotic or pornographic film viewed through a coin operated device …   English World dictionary

  • Peep show — A peep show or peepshow is an exhibition of pictures or objects viewed through a small hole or magnifying glass. This may or may not be a sex show, although the latter kind has eventually become the most common usage of the term since the advent… …   Wikipedia

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