Definition of camera lucida in US English:

camera lucida


  • An instrument in which rays of light are reflected by a prism to produce on a sheet of paper an image, from which a drawing can be made.

    • ‘Cells of the upper epidermis were drawn inside a circle on paper with a camera lucida.’
    • ‘The outline of the stomatal opening in each section was traced on heavy paper using a camera lucida, and the dimensions measured.’
    • ‘The essays range from the American desert to China, from discussions of gardens, landscape and architectural projects to exegeses of landscape texts and to the camera lucida.’
    • ‘Drawings of specimens were prepared with the aid of a camera lucida.’
    • ‘The most common tool, he argues, was long the camera lucida, a small device that threw an image from life directly onto a canvas.’
    • ‘The camera lucida, however, was invented in 1806, and Hockney conjectures that Ingres must have used just such an optical device to do his portraits.’
    • ‘Standard sutural drawings were made using a camera lucida, and measurements of the sutural proportions were taken from those drawings.’
    • ‘The physical aid of camera obscura and camera lucida had drawn men so near to an exact copying of nature and the satisfaction of the current craving for reality that they could not abide the intrusion of the pencil of man to close the gap.’
    • ‘Figures were prepared with the aid of a camera lucida attached to a microscope.’
    • ‘The camera lucida, patented in 1806 by William Wollaston, consisted of a reflecting prism that allowed artists to draw outlines in perspective.’
    • ‘Due to the minute size of the flowers, they were dissected and then drawn with the aid of an Olympus stereomicroscope equipped with a camera lucida, and measurements were then made from the drawings for greater precision.’
    • ‘The drawings were made on a homogeneous paper using a camera lucida fitted on a stereomicroscope.’
    • ‘Wing venation and vein width were drawn alter direct observation of fossil surfaces with a stereomicroscope and a camera lucida, under both dry conditions and submergence under alcohol.’
    • ‘The floral morphology was analysed using a stereomicroscope with camera lucida from flowers fixed in 70% alcohol.’
    • ‘Peels were put in slide frames and studied under a binocular microscope and drawn using a camera lucida.’
    • ‘A binocular microscope equipped with a camera lucida was used to draw the plate patterns.’
    • ‘All drawings were made using a Reichart camera lucida.’
    • ‘Helen illustrated with a camera lucida the type specimens they studied.’
    • ‘Outline drawings of lower fourth premolars were made with a camera lucida following the methodology of Jepsen and Krause.’
    • ‘The camera lucida is generally taken to be an early 19th-century invention, with the credit shared between the Scotsman Wollaston and the Italian Amici.’


Mid 18th century: from Latin, ‘bright chamber’, on the pattern of camera obscura.


camera lucida

/ˌkam(ə)rə ˈlo͞osədə/