66e Le Choeur de la Cathédrale de St Paul de Londres
XVIIIth century optical view in original watercolors. Original copper plate engraving on laid paper heightened with watercolor at that time. Published by Lachaussée, Daumont & Basset in Paris circa 1770, depicting a view of the Choir of St Paul's Cathedral in London (England).
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.
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Following the fire of 1666, the reconstruction of an equally impressive building was essential. This task was entrusted to Sir Christopher Wren on July 30, 16693. The plan of the present cathedral in Latin cross was the third project that Wren presented to the Anglican clergy after this one had rejected the first two: first a central plan in Greek cross with dome which King Charles II had nevertheless approved in 1670, then a plan in the form of an enormous Roman temple.
The first stone was laid on June 21, 1675, the choir opened to the public on December 2, 1697 , the last stone crowned the building in 1710, thirty-five years after the start of its construction. Wren was assisted in his task by his faithful assistant, the architect and mathematician Robert Hooke, as well as by the sculptor Grinling Gibbons for the stalls and the carved pediment of the northern transept, and the ironworker of French origin Jean Tijou.
Wren Cathedral is a mixture of classical and Baroque architecture. Its dome, with a total weight of 65,000 tonnes, was composed with three nested envelopes, and its bell towers designed to dominate the entire city. The top of the dome, which can be reached by climbing 528 steps, rises to 111.3 meters in height.
The Galerie Napoléon is pleased to propose to you this strong water etching printed 252 years ago (around 1770).
As for all the antique prints in our catalogue, this optical view 66e Le Choeur de la Cathédrale de St Paul de Londres datant de 1770 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 (1770).
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.
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