Galerie
Napoléon
- Paris - Collection of the Optical Views

Optical view of Marseille - Provence (France)
XVIIIth century optical view in original watercolors. Original copper plate engraving on laid paper with watermark heightened with watercolor at that time. Published in Paris circa 1760

18th Century optical view in original watercolors of Marseille - Provence (France)
Free Passepartout (available in 23 shades)
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176018th Century
  • Date : circa 1760
  • Century : 18th Century
  • Period : Louis XV
  • Technique : Strong water etching
  • Paper : Laid paper
  • Publisher : s.n.
  • Place of publication : Paris
  • Passepartout : 50.0 x 65.0 cm
  • Sheet : 32.0 x 49.0 cm
  • Plate : 26.0 x 43.0 cm
  • Inventory N° : FR-03439
500€
(Frame not included)
  • Certificate of authenticity
  • Passepartout included
  • Portfolio exacompta
  • Free shipping costs
  • Shipment within 24H
  • Online tracking

Original title

Vue du Cours de Marseilles

Description

XVIIIth century optical view in original watercolors. Original copper plate engraving on laid paper with watermark heightened with watercolor at that time. Published in Paris circa 1760, depicting a view of Marseille - Provence (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.

Museums & Archives

The Bibliothèque municipale de Valenciennes owns a copy of this optical view in its collections. For more details on this print please consult the site : Vue du cours de marseilles

Condition report

  • Lack of paper in the lower margin
  • A restored tear in the upper part (Sky) (5cm)

This strong water etching is listed in these categories :

Plague in Marseille

Marseille, also spelled in English as Marseilles, is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is located on the Mediterranean coast near the mouth of the Rhône.

Marseille was originally founded circa 600 BC as the Greek colony of Massalia and populated by settlers from Phocaea (modern Foça, Turkey). It became the preeminent Greek polis in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War, retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean even as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa. However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar's Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar.

In 1720, Yersinia pestis arrived at the port of Marseille from the Levant upon the merchant ship Grand-Saint-Antoine. The vessel had departed from Sidon in Lebanon, having previously called at Smyrna, Tripoli, and plague-ridden Cyprus. A Turkish passenger was the first to be infected and soon died, followed by several crew members and the ship's surgeon. The ship was refused entry to the port of Livorno. When it arrived at Marseille, it was promptly placed under quarantine in the lazaret by the port authorities.

A few days later, the disease broke out in the city. Hospitals were quickly overwhelmed, and residents panicked, driving the sick from their homes and out of the city. Mass graves were dug but were quickly filled. Eventually the number of dead overcame city public health efforts. Attempts to stop the spread of plague included an Act of the Parlement of Aix that levied the death penalty for any communication between Marseille and the rest of Provence. To enforce this separation, a plague wall, or -mur de la peste-, was erected across the countryside. The wall was built of dry stone, 2 m high and 70 cm thick, with guard posts set back from the wall. Remains of the wall can still be seen in different parts of the Plateau de Vaucluse.

After the plague subsided, the royal government strengthened the plague defenses of the port, building the waterside Lazaret d'Arenc. A double line of fifteen-foot walls ringed the whitewashed compound, pierced on the waterside to permit the offloading of cargo from lighters. Merchantmen were required to pass inspection at an island further out in the harbour, where crews and cargoes were examined.

The Optical View

The Galerie Napoléon is pleased to propose to you this strong water etching printed 262 years ago (around 1760).

As for all the antique prints in our catalogue, this optical view Vue du Cours de Marseilles datant de 1760 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 (1760).

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.

History of the Optical views

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.

  • Topographic views: Cities, Monuments, Ports, Distant regions, reproduced with more or less accuracy, depending on the documents available to the engraver. It is obvious that the authors of these prints had not seen these territories. They therefore recomposed these landscapes by compiling various engravings and drawings, which explains many fantasies.
  • The historical scenes : Inaugurations, Coronations, Battles, Fires or Natural disasters form a subject that the people are fond of.
  • Views with a religious or moralizing theme. For educational value, these prints were mainly produced by Parisian publishers in the rue Saint-Jacques.

Our Guarantee

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.

In addition to thousands of impassioned of antique prints throughout the world, the Galerie Napoléon is honoured to count among its customers : national archives, museums, historical monuments and important home designer companies. All attracted by the extraordinary diversity of its catalogue and the quality and speed of its services.

This experience allows us to guarantee to each one of our customers the authenticity of the antiques in our catalogue and the shipment of their orders within 24 hours.

Free customization

Customize for free the color of your museum quality bevel cut edge passepartout (acid free & neutral pH) among a color chart of 23 shades.
This option will be offered to you free of charge in the cart.

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Secured shipment

All our antiques can be shipped worldwide. The orders are dispatched within 24H in a secured packaging.

The Galerie Napoléon offers free shipping for all orders over 50EUR for France, 70EUR for all EU destinations and 90EUR for worldwide destinations.

For orders below these amounts, the shipping costs are 8EUR for France, 12EUR for all EU destinations and 17EUR for worldwide destinations.

Secured payment

  • Credit card secured by Paybox, european leader in the online payment (CB, Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard)
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  • Bank check (drawn on a french bank)
  • Invoice payment (Reserved for european public entities : Museums, National Archives, Ministries, Town Halls ...)

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