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Glasses: A Phenomenon Through the Ages


For many years, glasses have been more than just medical devices or fashion accessories . They have crossed the time in a multitude of ways, to become unavoidable . We change glasses because it is necessary, and because we want to change our head, to be wiser or more relaxed. In short, with our glasses of corrections, we rediscover ourselves. And our glasses, through the ages, have served both their usefulness and their symbolic …

Glasses through the ages: an imponderable look

Eyewear has become a defining part of our look , which has not always been the case. Faced with different visual afflictions, it was a long time the "bad luck" to wear glasses. But the trade and the many possibilities offered by the eyewear designers have reversed the deal . Now, we spend a lot of time to find THE pair that will stick to our personality or we will open the doors of the last look of hell!

[Caption id = "attachment_10240" align = " aligncenter "width =" 600 "] glasses-a-across-the-time9 @Pixabay [/ caption]

It is from the 1930s that manufacturers begin to want to create a fashion around glasses . Some flagship models, such as the famous model " aviator " or "Wayfarer" Ray-Ban or, see the day. Today, this type of glasses, an abandoned time, is more than ever back in the limelight.

The sixties, encompassed by the hippie movement , will transform our glimpse of small round glasses , (a model that was once that of old stunted scientists), thanks to Lennon, Joplin, Morrison … These glasses will become the symbol of a movement that is both ephemeral and particular .

[Caption id = "attachment_10241" align = "aligncenter" width = "600"] glasses-a-across-the-time.10 The Ray-Ban Aviator, recognizable at first glance @Pixabay [/ caption]

A decade later, we hide our eyes behind thick black glasses, sleek design and flashy, while in the 90s, we make room for discretion, with fine and discreet materials , colors without extravagance so that our glasses are based on our face.

Finally, the advent of the internet and the immense possibility of putting forward the reaction of the industrialists. Indeed, who better than the customers can talk about their glasses and put them forward? Influencers, models and even any average person will highlight his choice of optical and / or solar frames to represent (some would say to give the illusion of) an extravagant or relaxing life, serious or delicate, mysterious or extrovert .

And through history?

It's hard to say who and where the first glasses came from . Aristotle would have been the first to evoke vision problems, mainly nearsightedness and presbyopia , but only later will we find a way to use objects to overcome them.

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glasses-a-across-the-time11 @Pixabay [/ caption]

To enlarge the image of some texts, Seneca describes the use of globes filled with water . This magnifying power will be at the origin of the work of Euclid and the Arab scientist Alhazen on the use of different lenses to promote reading .

Finally, if we can not name with certainty the inventor of glasses so-called "modern", we find the first traces in Italy , at the very end of the thirteenth century.

It is Sandro di Popozo who will mention them under this name in 1299: "I am so impaired by age that without these lenses, which we call glasses, I do not would be more able to read or write. They were invented recently for the benefit of poor people whose eyesight has become bad, "he said.

The arrival of the printing press will result in a high demand for glasses. This is how we develop the glasses "pince-nez" and "face-to-hand" to hold with a rod the two glasses.

The glasses, the pretty English name for " Spectacles ", were born.

glasses-a-across-the-time.12 @Pixabay [/ caption]

To protect oneself, to recognize oneself, to assert oneself, to differentiate oneself, to see differently …

In "The Discourse on Method", René Descartes tells us about his penchant for the coquetry of the eyes of women with myopia.

The glasses become indispensable, and symbolically, they will not stop revealing us … or not.
The optical design can begin. The limits are removed.

Prismatic glasses to read lying, kaleidoscopic glasses to see the world differently, smart glasses to stay connected, infrared to see the night … Can we still doubt the excellence of the imagination provided by this object so simple and so powerful at the same time?

Simple, the pair of glasses? Not so sure. In any case, it can replace a multitude of details. Above all, she can assert a personality, bind us unconsciously to a person, as the campaign of the minimalist artist Federico Mauro has brilliantly shown:


@Federico Mauro

Art, or how to exploit this huge potential

How to exploit a particular symbolism without thinking of the 7th art ?

The cinema gave pride to the glasses, offering the spectator a clever way to play with the symbolic they represent, and that the directors have kindly describe.

Arte offers us a small preview in his show Blow Up :
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEyW_OQJoaM&t=1s [/ embed]

Black glasses, reflecting light, allowing us to read the emotions on the reflected face of an interlocutor … our optical or solar pairs have sometimes been able to hold the star with enthusiasm, while making us happy.

The very genres visuals, such as steampunk or fantasy , have also used the very special symbolism of glasses . Indeed, these genres often have very many and complex characters, which it is important to decipher a part of the personality (whether the real one or the one he tries to hide) at first glance.

The Steampunk gives pride of place to the glasses @Pixabay [/ caption]

For this, the glasses have really become the essential accessory of the sets and costumes of the cinema.
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Making and using things to see better has been around for ages, but our modern glasses took a while to get out of the ground. Since then, the imagination has come full circle, and these glasses, first medical devices increasingly practical, have emerged as an essential accessory of fashion, and perhaps the one that best reflected the personality of one or the one who wears a pair

It's our way of wearing them, their use in time and space, their complexity or their simplicity that will make them mythical and to be adored or recognized at first glance.

Be that as it may, our glasses have not said their last word and we must to expect that they are still very present, in our reality as in our imagination …