Image with Commentary

April 2014

Virtual reality can simulate physical presence in real or imagined worlds. The application of this technology to the operating room and surgery is advanced by recent devices such as Google Glass and Oculus VR. The term "virtual reality" can be traced back to the French playwright, Antonin Artaud, and his book The Theatre and Its Double (1938). Imagined virtual worlds appear in the works of M.C. Escher (1898−1972), Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) and Giorgio De Chirico (1888 -1978). Jan van Eyck (1390-1441) showed his virtuosity as a painter by reproducing the mirrored reality in his famous Arnolfini Portrait (1434).

The image shows the masked face of Floriano Marchetti, MD, outfitted with headlamp and goggles. We witness a virtual world through the reflections on his glasses. (2014)

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