"Vista en Prespectiva de la Principal Fachada del Espcurial, por la Parte Meridional",
Subject: Spain, El Escorial
Period: 1780 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
15.3 x 9 inches
38.9 x 22.9 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.
A striking view of the monastery of El Escorial in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama. El Escorial was built to commemorate the Spanish victory over the French in the battle of Saint Quentin (1557) and as a monument to Spain's role as a center of the Christian world. When constructed between 1563 to 1584, it was the largest building in the world. The view was published by D.G. Huquier.
Original color. Manuscript Dutch title in top margin. Some toning and a few edge tears, well away from the image.