Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 788

"[Lot of 9 - Joseph and His Brothers]",

Subject: Prints - Religion

Period: 1770 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.8 x 10.8 inches
40.1 x 27.4 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 set includes 9 images of Joseph and his brothers, illustrating passages from the Bible from Genesis 37 to 44. The title on each Vue is in Latin, French, German and Italian. This lot includes:

A. Ioseph Recita Ses Songes a Ses Freres. Joseph describing his dreams of sheaves of corn and moon and stars bowing to him.
B. Ses Freres le Ietterent dans une Fosse. His brothers throwing him into a cistern.
C. Ses Freres le Vendirent aux Ismaelites. Joseph's brothers selling him to the Ishmaelites.
D. Madianitae Vendebant Iosephum Putiphari in Aegypto Pharaonis Camerario. Joseph is sold by the Midianites in Egypt to Potiphar, one of the Pharaoh’s officials.
E. Iosephus a Putipharis Uxore ad Turpe Scelus Allicitur. Joseph refuses to bed Potiphar's wife.
F. Iosephus Ingentem Frumenti Copiam Congerebat. Joseph stores up a huge quantity of grain.
G. Iacobi Filiis Simeon Relinquendus Est, Donec Benjaminem ad Iosephum Adducant. The sons of Jacob must leave Simeon behind until they bring Benjamin to Joseph.
H. Attollens Autem Ioseph Oculos, Vidit Benjamin Fratrem suum Uterinum, etc.. Joseph lifted his eyes and saw his brother, Benjamin.
I. Iosephi Benevolentia Erga Fratres. Joseph's goodwill towards his brothers.


Condition: B+

Lovely original color on watermarked paper with light soiling and a few minor extraneous creases. The view where Simeon is left behind has a couple of tiny worm tracks, and the view of Joseph's goodwill has a faint damp stain.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $275

Closed on 2/17/2016