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A PAINTING from the 1850s appears to show a woman looking at a smartphone – sparking suggestions of time travel.
The scene looks for the world like a 21st century teenager texting or looking at social media while carelessly walking down the street but was actually painted around 1850.
In ‘The Expected One’ Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller,shows a young man waiting on a countryside path holding a pinking flower while a girl approaches with her attention gripped by a small rectangular object in her hands.
The time travel scenario was sparked on Twitter by retired local government officer Peter Russell in response to a similar image being posted.
He told Motherboard : “What strikes me most is how much a change in technology has changed the interpretation of the painting, and in a way has leveraged its entire context.
“The big change is that in 1850 or 1860, every single viewer would have identified the item that the girl is absorbed in as a hymnal or prayer book.
No one could fail to see the resemblance
“Today, no one could fail to see the resemblance to the scene of a teenage girl absorbed in social media on their smartphone.”
It is understood that the painting, in fact, shows a girl holding a hymn book while walking as her admirer awaits.
Art expert Gerald Weinpolter said: “The girl in this Waldmüller painting is not playing with her new iPhone X, but is off to church holding a little prayer book in her hands.”
Series of images appearing to show out of place devices and clothing in photos and paintings from the past have appeared on the internet feeding a hoard of conspiracy theorists.
Other examples of the phenomena include what looks like an iPhone in a painting that is around 350-years-old which Apple boss Tim Cook called “evidence”.