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Published January 17, 2022 Updated March 02, 2024

Myriorama

Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.

1824 Italy United Kingdom Education Scenic Patience Add to Collection

The Myriorama was invented in France in c.1823 by Jean-Pierre Brés. The idea is that many different panoramic landscapes may be created by laying a set of illustrated cards in any order. The publisher Samuel Leigh employed artist John Heavside Clark (c. 1771–1863), to create Myrioramas for the English market. The example shown here is of Italian scenery.

Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824 Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824 Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824 Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824

Above: Myriorama of Italian scenery, produced by John H. Clark, published by Samuel Leigh, 1824. 24 elongated cards in box. Images courtesy Shirley Ashman.

The game was known under the name of Myriorama; it consisted of up to thirty-two cards presenting fragments of landscapes drawn in such a way that the various pieces could connect indiscriminately with each other; after scrambling the pieces, compositions more or less pleasing could be made at random. As all the parts of trees, rocks, and clouds fitted together perfectly, each person could create a scene according to their taste. Thus it was a form of patience.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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