Auction 124, Lot 734

"[Lot of 2] 7e. Vue Optique Nouvelle, Representant, la Descente d'Oenee aux Enfers, avec le Palais de Pluton dans l'Eloignement [and] Prison de St. Pierre",

Subject: Miscellaneous

Period: 1780 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

See Description

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) An interesting engraving illustrating the Roman legend of Proserpine being held captive by Pluto in Hades. Prosperpine, daughter of Ceres (the goddess of vegetation), was kidnapped by Pluto (god of the underworld), who wanted to marry her. (15.3 x 9.6")

2) This engraving shows the interior of the prison of St. Peter. (13.8 x 10")


Condition: B+

Some soil in margins.

Estimate: $150 - $200


Closed on 5/7/2008