Vue perspective de la Façade de l'Abbaye superbe du Val de Grace
A Paris chez Jacques Chereau rue St Jacques au dessus de la Fontaine St Severin aux 2 colonnes n° 257.
XVIIIth century optical view in original watercolors. Original copper plate engraving on laid paper heightened with watercolor at that time. Published by Jacques Chéreau in Paris circa 1780, depicting a view of the Val-de-Grâce Church in Paris (France).
During the 18th Century, several renowned establishments in Paris, London (England), Augsburg (Germany) and Bassano (Italy) were specialized in the creation of these optical views. They could be viewed alone or through a zograscope, a wooden foot surmounted by a lens which enlarged the image and accentuated the perspective effect. They could also be placed in optical boxes, the spectator then looked inside the box through the lens. This distraction was greatly appreciated in the 18th Century in the salons of the bourgeoisie and the nobility as in the countryside thanks to the hawkers.
These etchings are nowadays exhibited in museums around the world and extremely appreciated by collectors and decorators for their historical interest and their high decorative value.
Some foxing spots
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The Church of the Val-de-Grâce is a Roman Catholic church in Paris. The edifice, formerly a royal abbey, was initially designed by François Mansart, succeeded by Jacques Lemercier.
The plan of the church is a Latin cross crowned by a dome. Mansart's plan envisioned towers flanking the nave and an elevated entrance, giving the impression of a castle rather than the façade of a traditional church.
The two-story facade, with its double stages of twin columns supporting a pediment and flanking consoles, recalls church elevations from the first part of the 17th century also designed by Mansart in 1623. Mansart's facade squares his façade with linked vertical lines using the columns and entablatures. The dome, with Baroque accents, contains an inner dome decorated by Pierre Mignard in 1663 and a baldachino inspired by that at Saint Peter's Basilica.
The dome of Val-de-Grâce was painted by Pierre Mignard and completed in 1666. Mignard was a praised and highly sought after painter, with a frequently cited rivalry between him and another famous painter of the era, Charles Le Brun. The painting was commissioned by Anne of Austria in 1663 and done in fresco, painting done on wet plaster. The style of painting, fresco, is more difficult than painting with oils, as was generally used for ceiling paintings in France, as it does not allow for second thoughts. Val-de-Grâce’s cupola was the first of its kind and magnitude in Paris, as only smaller painted cupolas existed then, including the one in Eglise des Carmes and the other in the chapel of the Sorbonne. It was also the first important fresco in France, as all others were done with oil paint on canvas.
The painting itself depicts Anne of Austria being presented by St Anne and St Louis. Anne of Austria presents a model of an abbey built at her request to the Holy Trinity. The painting is a spiral composition with more than two hundred figures presented in concentric circles. Mignard uses foreshortening of figures, many different colors, and lighting effects in his painting.
The Galerie Napoléon is pleased to propose to you this strong water etching printed 242 years ago (around 1780).
As for all the antique prints in our catalogue, this optical view Vue perspective de la Façade de l'Abbaye superbe du Val de Grace datant de 1780 is dispatched worldwide within 24H in a Secured packaging, accompanied by its certificate of authenticity guaranteeing the name of the artists (draughtsman, engraver, editor), the impression process used (Strong water) and its date (1780).
In order to guarantee a perfect conservation in time, this strong water etching is dispatched, ready to be framed, under museum quality color passepartout (manufactured without acid in the pulp for a neutral pH) on a cream mountboard made from carton bois (also acid free & neutral pH), in a luxurious portfolio.
At the apogee of the mode for optical views, between 1750 and 1790, four European cities specialized in their edition: Paris (France), London (England), Augsburg (Germany) and Bassano (Italy).
Optical views are prized in very different social circles : pleasant recreation in aristocratic salons, the views are admired in beautiful and richly decorated optical boxes which are real works of art. The show was transformed into a real scientific experiment. But the optical views also entertained the people who were in a hurry when a hawker set up a box on a market and began to narrate the extraordinary events that had taken place in a more or less distant and inaccessible country.
There are three categories in the production of optical views.
With more than 20 years experience and a catalogue of more than 40.000 antique prints, drawings and historical documents dating from the 14th to the 19th century, the Galerie Napoléon, parisian antique dealer's gallery, is one of the world references in the field of antique prints,etchings and antique graphic arts.
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