Galerie
Napoléon
- Paris - Collection of the Optical Views

Optical view of Alexandria (Egypt)
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

18th Century optical view in original watercolors of Alexandria (Egypt)
Free Passepartout (available in 23 shades)
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177018th Century
  • Date : circa 1770
  • Century : 18th Century
  • Period : Louis XV
  • Technique : Strong water etching
  • Paper : Laid paper
  • Publisher : s.n.
  • Place of publication : Paris
  • Passepartout : 35.0 x 50.0 cm
  • Sheet : 20.0 x 39.0 cm
  • Plate : 20.0 x 39.0 cm
  • Inventory N° : FR-03831
400€
(Frame not included)
  • Certificate of authenticity
  • Passepartout included
  • Portfolio exacompta
  • Free shipping costs
  • Shipment within 24H
  • Online tracking

Original title

Vue d’Alexandrie ville d’Egypte sur la mer Méditerranée.

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 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.

Condition report

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).

Lighthouse of Alexandria

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 Optical View

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.

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 (& Switzerland) and 90EUR for worldwide destinations.

For orders below these amounts, the shipping costs are 6EUR for France, 8EUR for all EU destinations (& Switzerland) and 10EUR for worldwide destinations.

Secured payment

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

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