Vue d'Optique nouvelle, representans La Gde Place deu Mont Ste. Marie a Francfort sur le Mein. Dessinee pendt l'hyver
15.5 x 9.5 inches
An etching on copperplate with original hand colour , published in Paris circa 1750.
This image depicts the bustling town centre in Frankfurt at the height of winter with various activities taking place on the snow. Some sort of parade appears to be going on with horse drawn troikas and floats circumnavigating the town square. Saint Mary's church dominates the left-hand side of the picture with various shops and houses completing the scene.
These optical views, or perspectives as they were commonly called, originated in the early eighteenth century, initially as part of the London topographical print market, and then from the 1740's onwards they reached new heights of popularity in cities such as Augsburg and Paris. They were typically horizontal in orientation, firmly engraved with lines of perspective and strongly coloured, initially depicting the capital cities of Europe but later embracing more exotic locations from around the world. They continue to provide us with a fascinating record of European cities in the latter half of the eighteenth century and remain as visually appealing as they are historically fascinating.