Vue de l'Hotel Royal des Gardes du Corps a pied vis a vis la Salle Blanche a manger a Londres
16 x 10.5 inches
A copper plate engraving with original hand colour; published in Paris circa 1750.
This view depicts Whitehall in London with the Banqueting House on the right and the entrance to Horse Guards on the left. A State Coach drawn by eight horses can be seen leaving the parade ground so one can assume that the occupants of the carriage might be King George II and his consort Queen Caroline.
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. As people moved around Europe and further overseas 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.