Stereoscopic Nudes Are The Sexy GIFs Of The 19th Century

Because boobs look better in black-and-white.

Warning: This post contains nudes on nudes and may not be suitable for work.

Imagno/Getty Images

There's something about an old fashioned black-and-white boudoir photograph that makes any contemporary nude Snapchat pale in comparison. Nude bodies just look best when surrounded by candelabras, doilies, ball gowns and giant tassels.

In the deep archives of Getty Images lies a mysterious series of stereoscopic images dating back to 1880. For the uninitiated, stereoscopy, derived from the Greek words for "firm" and "to look," is a technique that creates the illusion of depth in flat images by, essentially, tricking the brain.

To do this, two nearly identical images are placed side by side, the minor deviations between them mimicking the natural differences that eyes perceive in binocular vision. The stereoscope itself is a binocular-like device one looks through to receive the stereoscopic images. One picture greets the left eye, the other greets the right, and the brain digests the overall whole as having three-dimensional depth.

Stereoscopic images are cool and all, especially if you have a nifty pocket stereoscope through which to view them. If you've recently misplaced your only pair of vintage binoculars, worry not, the computer generates a similar effect. By simply juxtaposing the two images in quick succession, you produce something of a proto-GIF, a momentary glimpse into the glamorous life of the anonymous sitter.

Although the origin stories of these intriguing boudoir nudes are unknown, it allows the imagination to construct an elaborate, ornately-decorated reality where these images could come to be. From the subjects' languid poses to their partially shrugged-off negligees, there is plenty of visual stimuli to spark your curiosity.

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Imagno/Getty Images
Austrian Archives/Imagno/Getty Images
Austrian Archives/Imagno/Getty Images
Austrian Archives/Imagno/Getty Images

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