Auction 129, Lot 419

"Vue de la Riviere et d l'Isle de Cayenne",

Subject: French Guiana

Period: 1775 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15 x 9.4 inches
38.1 x 23.9 cm

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.

This beautifully rendered vue d'optique shows the French colony from across a lake. The scene shows people doing typical activities; tending to livestock, traveling by boat, horse and carriage. A particularly uncommon vue d'optique drawn by Betcow and printed by Maillet, Paris.


Condition: A

Beautiful original color and a fine, early impression on a sheet with full margins.

Estimate: $140 - $180


Closed on 9/23/2009