- Johann Thomas Hauer, 1748-1820
Prospect in Hamburg / Vue de la Ville Hambourg.
Kaiserliche Franziskische Akademie, Augsburg, , , , , Good /None
Optical view, 1 leaf. Prospect in Hamburg / Vue de la Ville Hambourg. Se vend a Augsbourg au Negoce comun de L'Academie Imperiale d'Empire des Arts libereaux avc Privilege de Sa Mageste Imperiale et avec Defense ni d'en faire ni de vendre les Copies. Augsburg: [Kaiserliche Franziskische Akademie], [1775-1779]. Series: Collections des Prospects. Copperplate engraving, hand colored. Single leaf, plate size: 400 x 300mm [15.75 x 11.8 inches], paper size: 455 x 340mm [17.9 x 13.4 inches]. Condition: a very good impression with bright coloring, with little darkening of paper. Outside of the impression there are generous margins that were in contact with an acidic matte. These margins are darkened by the acid of the matte board but are still supple. The print was attached to the matte with paper tape, a 0.25 inch is attached around the edge of the back of the print (see photo). This print is an exemplar of the "Optical Print/Vue d'Optique." These prints were prepared for "peep boxes" [Guckkasten, the prints therefore Guckkastenblatt or -bild] called Zograscopes, which, by means of a lens and mirror, enhanced the perspective of the view. The reversed titles are necessary because the view is reversed by the mirror. The view is of the Alsterbassin in Hamburg. There are boats in the foreground with buildings, perhaps Jungfernsteig, on the right. On the left is the Lombards Bridge and a windmill. Thus, a rare view of the Alster Basin before the great fire of 1842, although perhaps not a direct view of the affected area. Prints for the Zograscope were produced in Paris, London, Bassano, and Berlin, but perhaps production was greatest in Augsburg. Although there was a large publishing industry in Augsburg in the late 18th century, only five publishers produced optical prints. Among those, Georg Balthasar Probst, the Kaiserlich Franziskische Akademie (established by artist and engraver Johann Daniel Herz von Herzberg), and Joseph Carmine were responsible for over 1,000 prints. The prints ranged in subject matter from cities and architecture to stories from the Bible and contemporary and historical catastrophes. Popular artists and engravers included Jean-Baptiste Bergmuller, Luca Carlvaris, Franz Xavier Haberman, Balthazar Friedrich Leizelt, Cornelis Pronk, Gottfried Friedrich Riedel, Michiel Versteeg, Jean Benoit Winckler. Worldcat finds one copy of this particular item at Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg. I found only one copy found in the market, thus, this exemplar is a scarce optical print of Hamburg, both other copies are cropped in in a way that affects the text at the top and/or bottom of the print.