Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Vue d'Optique Hampton Court

Vue d'Optique

Vue Perspective de Pont neuf, construit sue la Tamise a Hampton Court

16 x 10.5 inches

An etched optical view with strong original hand colour; published in Paris circa 1760.

A delightful perspective of the new bridge across the River Thames at Hampton Court with lots of activity in the forground. This bridge was built in 1753 by Samuel Stevens and Benjamin Ludgater and was the largest Chinoiserie style bridge ever built. It was a wooden structure comprising seven arches and, at 20 feet wide, was capable of taking road traffic. It was rebuilt in 1778 and finally replaced by an irin bridge in 1865.

This is one of a series of prints that were called optical views, or perspectives. They originated in the early eighteenth century, as part of the topographical print market in cities such as Augsburg, Paris and London. They were typically horizontal in orientation, firmly engraved with lines of perspective and strongly coloured. As people moved around Europe these views became increasingly popular as an entertainment once the traveller had arrived home. In the wealthy drawing rooms of London and Paris these prints would be produced after dinner along with an optical viewing device known as a zograscope or viewfinder.


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