"Vue Perspective de la Descente des Francois a l'Isle de Terre Neuve du Cote de Saint Jean a l'Occident…", Haberman, F. X.
Period: 1762 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
14.4 x 9.6 inches
36.6 x 24.4 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 optical view shows the French capture of St. John's Island in June 1762. Ternay and Comte d'Haussonville led a force of 760 French and 161 Irish soldiers in St. John's occupation. Three months later Col. Amherst landed 1559 soldiers to confront the French and after two days the French fleet escaped in the fog leaving the city and 700 prisoners to Amherst. The view is very dramatic with hundreds of soldiers on the move, with boats and ships in the harbor. This exciting view was drawn by Andre Basset.
The image is near fine with wide margins and good original coloring. There is a repaired tear in the right corner.