Vue d’Alexandrie ville d’Egypte sur la mer Méditerranée.
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 1770, depicting a view of Alexandria (Egypt).
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.
This optical view is extracted from a series of several views mounted end to end. This roller was intended to be used in an boîte d’optique (optical box) fitted with a crank in order to scroll through the images. These views are devoid of margins, numbered (labels or traces of labels in the upper part) and most often include some vestiges of the mounting on the back (strips of paper or fabric glued).
Find more artworks related to these topics :
The Lighthouse of Alexandria was considered in Antiquity as the seventh of the Seven Wonders of the world. He served as a guide for sailors for almost seventeen centuries (from the second century BC to the fourteenth century). Its construction would have started between 299 and 289 BC. AD (the exact date is unknown) and lasted about fifteen years. The works started under the reign of Ptolemy I but he died before the end of the construction site which was completed under the reign of his son Ptolemy II.
At the top of the lighthouse stood a statue which could not yet be formally identified ; indeed, it could be Zeus, Poseidon or Helios.
There is a glass goblet dating from the 2nd century and found in Begrâm in Afghanistan which shows the image of a god holding a paddle in his left hand which would make him Poseidon. This same god is quoted in a text of the 5th century speaking of a repair of the lighthouse. Finally, a mosaic dating from 539 shows the lighthouse surmounted by Helios.
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 Vue d’Alexandrie ville d’Egypte sur la mer Méditerranée. 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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