The Eidophusikon

What was the Eidophusikon?

Philip de Loutherbourg was an artist who became famous in 18th-century London for his set designs. He was employed by David Garrick at Drury Lane to create elaborate stage effects. In 1781, he opened in Leicester Square what he called his Eidophusikon (taken from Greek words meaning ‘image of nature’) in which these effects and others were recreated in a small theatre for the enjoyment of about 100 spectators per show.


Using lights, mirrors, coloured glass and his own paintings, de Loutherbourg showed views of London, a storm at sea and a scene from Milton entitled ‘Satan arraying his Troops on the Banks of the Fiery Lake, with the Raising of the Palace of Pandemonium’. The Eidophusikon was for several years one of the capital’s most fashionable entertainments.


Answered by: Nick Rennison