"[Lot of 2] Vue Perspective des Cascades de Saint Cloud [and] Le Caravan Seray de Cachan", Basset, Paul-Andre le jeune
Period: 1780 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
Optical prints (or vue d’optique) were made to be viewed in a special apparatus that provided the viewer with an illusion of depth (early 3-D). The large mirror employed in the viewing machine showed the image reversed so many of these views have the titles and information engraved forward and backwards to facilitate viewing in the machine or by hand. These prints were only produced for a short period of time (1740 to 1790) and then were replaced with the invention of the smaller steroviewer. These views are some of the most distinctive and interesting images of the eighteenth century, and their distinctive engraving style, striking perspective and bright original color makes them as visually delightful as they are historically fascinating.
1) This engraving illustrates the formal French garden and spectacular fountains at Saint Cloud. The principal fountain, the Grand Cascade, measuring 90 meters, was a testament to the mastery of waterworks of architect Antoine Le Pautre. (15.8 x 9")
2) This engraving shows the caravanserai (roadside inn) in a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris. (15.5 x 10")
Some surface soil and pencil marks in margins.