American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A three-dimensional miniature or life-size scene in which figures, stuffed wildlife, or other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting against a painted background.
- n. A scene reproduced on cloth transparencies with various lights shining through the cloths to produce changes in effect, intended for viewing at a distance through an aperture.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A spectacular painting, or a connected series of paintings, intended for exhibition to spectators in a darkened room, in a manner to produce by optical illusions an appearance of reality. The paintings are so executed and arranged that a variety of effects may be induced by varying the direction, intensity, and color of the light; one of the most notable of these effects coming from light transmitted through the picture itself, which is painted in transparent coloring on a thin fabric. Different scences may be painted on the two faces of the fabric, and a change from one to the other may be made by altering the soucre of the illumination. A daylight scene may be thus changed with wonderful realism to one by moonlight, or a desert place may become all at once peopled by a busy crowd. The diorama was devised in 1822 by Daguerre (the chief inventor of photography) and Bouton.
- n. A building in which dioramic paintings are exhibited.
- n. A three-dimensional display of a scenery, often having a painted background in front of which models are arranged, e.g. in a museum where stuffed animals are presented against a painted landscape.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A mode of scenic representation, invented by Daguerre and Bouton, in which a painting is seen from a distance through a large opening. By a combination of transparent and opaque painting, and of transmitted and reflected light, and by contrivances such as screens and shutters, much diversity of scenic effect is produced.
- n. A building used for such an exhibition.
- n. a picture (or series of pictures) representing a continuous scene
- French, blend of dia-, through (from Greek; see dia-) and panorama, panorama (from English; see panorama). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The sheet explains the basic facts of what the diorama is about.”
“In 1822, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, who had worked in theater design and panorama painting and would later invent the daguerreotype photograph, unveiled a dazzling new spectacle he dubbed the diorama.”
“The biggest point of a shoebox diorama is to show a natural habitat of something.”
“Freezing a moment in time – A diorama is a moment in time and you can focus on this.”
“Interactions in a habitat – The focus of a diorama is often to correctly identify and place the right objects for a natural habitat but you can take this to a new level by focusing on the interactions within the habitat.”
“Achieving Depth – The most common trait of an average shoebox diorama is that it has a decorated background and objects placed on the bottom surface.”
“As an example, if you are doing a polar bear or penguin diorama you could use white packing Styrofoam.”
“You've got your very own Pac-Man pumpkin diorama for Halloween, complete with ghost and white pellets.”
“The viewer of a habitat group diorama is able to travel not only across continents, but also, in some cases, through time.”
“Anyway -- the DOTD diorama is amazing -- even a skeleton riding a skeleton horse -- and less than a foot long.”
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