19th century


classical antiquity

Early Middle Ages

Late Middle Ages

16th century

17th century

18th century

19th century

From the street to the theatre

Until now we saw magicians usually perform outside or in inns, although it could also happen that they were invited by, for example, the king or rich people. But we already saw (in the 18th century) that even the best magicians were performing at the fair.


Robert Houdin portret

But that's gonna change. In the course of the 19th century we see that magicians increasingly perform in the theatre. A very famous French magician Robert Houdin is the great example. He wears chic clothes and has a lot of beautiful attributes. By the way, he makes them himself because he is also a very skillfull clockmaker and technician. The sophisticated audience sees how he conjures away a borrowed ring and shortly afterwards a mechanical orange tree blossoms and the ring is flown out of the orrange by mechanical butterflies on a borrowed handkerchief. He also lets his own son float.

historie Robert Houdin laat zijn zoon zweven

There will even be special magic theatres and they are of course full of technical ingenuity to conjure up ghosts or make things float. Suddenly a lot more was possible in the theatre than on the street and magic has really changed.
For Jannes a reason to see the middle of the 19th century as the end of his historical magic.

And now, in the time you're reading this, a new form of magic has been invented on television and youtube, where magic seems to go back to the street but in front of a camera so that even more is possible.

Luckily the real street magician has never completely disappeared and even now people still marvel at tricks that are shown on the streets for centuries.


© 2018-2020 Jannes de Goochelaar

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