old prints & graphics

Vue d'Optique

An engravings from the series - "Vue d'Optique" (optical view) or "Guckkastenblatt" (perspective view).

Optical perspective engravings, or Vue d'optique, are a special type of engraving published in Europe in the 18th century. These engravings were created for viewing in a special device - a zograf. Zograf is an optical device with a large lens and a system of mirrors that provide the illusion of depth when viewing the engraving. Perspective views are characterized by an emphasized linear perspective made to further enhance depth and illusionary space when viewed through optics. Hand-colored engravings are bright, often "heavy" to show tints and emphasize depth of perspective when viewed through a zograf.