74e Vüe de l'Eglise de St Jean de Latran a Rome.
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 Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome (Italy).
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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The building, which corresponds substantially to the reconstruction of the 5th century, has an octagonal plan, with a domed roof, supported by two orders of columns: the lowest is composed of eight columns of red porphyry, work of Sergio III (904- 911), which restored the dilapidated baptistery since the time of Pope Stephen IV (816-817), and the capitals on which is a marble entablature on which are engraved baptismal verses; the upper one was built by Innocenzo X with eight thinner columns, in white marble, also carved, which support an octagonal lantern, the dome with oval windows and the lantern above.
The baptistery has access from a atrium with a porch with two columns of porphyry. In the 5th century, at the time of Pope Ilario (461-468), these two absidal basins were covered with mosaics, of which only one remains today, the oriental: a candlestick crosses the basin in the middle vertically, clusters flock and golden spirals on a green background. Above, a semi-circular meniscus hosts the Agnus Dei, while in four semicircles; at the base of the meniscus, there are four doves that look towards the Lamb. Four crosses are suspended from the meniscus, twelve others are suspended from the spirals.
The apses of the atrium have housed two small chapels since the 12th century. Inside the baptistery, under the dome, there are the baptismal font and around the internal octagon of the columns, there is a high annular ambulatory, with a coffered ceiling.
Of the three chapels from the 5th century, only the one to the east, accessible by bronze doors and dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, retains the form of the original Greek cross with a mosaic vault, dating from the papacy of Sixtus III.
The internal frescoes, with episodes from the life of Constantine, date back to the pontificate of Urban VIII (1623-1644), from which the bee coat of arms stands out on the ground.
The brick exterior is adorned with a frieze designed by Francesco Borromini (1657) and shows traces of closed openings at different times.
The Galerie Napoléon is pleased to propose to you this strong water etching printed 251 years ago (around 1770).
As for all the antique prints in our catalogue, this optical view 74e Vüe de l'Eglise de St Jean de Latran a Rome. 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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