“La Mer Agitee et Naufrage de plusieurs Vaisseaux.” Paris: Daumont, ca. 1770-1800. 10 1/4 x 16. Etching. Full original hand color. A few light stains.
A terrific eighteenth century depiction of several ships sinking in a storm at sea. This print is a perspective view, or “vue d’optique,” a special type of popular print published in Europe during the eighteenth century. These prints were a form of entertainment meant to be viewed through a device called an “optical machine” or an “optique.” This machine used a lens to enhance for viewers the magnification and perception of three-dimensional depth of the prints. A mirror was often used so that the perspective prints could be viewed when laid flat, and this meant the image was viewed in reverse. The text is in German and French.