A three-dimensional representation of a scene, either full-scaled or miniature. It may have a background painted to merge with elements nearest it by means of aerial and linear perspective. It may be made on a platform with or without a clear glass front, set into an illuminated niche, and viewed from a darkened area. In miniature form, it may be entirely enclosed, and viewed through a peephole. It has been used for life-size scenes in which figures, stuffed wildlife, and other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting, exhibits of engineering and industrial projects, and advertising displays. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a popular form of didactic entertainment, often containing a scene reproduced on cloth transparencies with various lights shining through the cloths to produce changes in effect, intended for viewing at a distance. (Artlex.com)

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