Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title The Vues d’optique Prints of the 18th — First Quarter of the 19th Century: From Inscriptions to Dating
Author email
About author Demidenko, Iuliia Borisovna — head of department. The State Russian Museum, Inzhenernaia ul., 4, 191186 St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
In the section Russian Art of the 18th Century DOI10.18688/aa188-2-17
Year 2018 Volume 8 Pages 178184
Type of article RAR Index UDK 76 Index BBK 85.103(4)5

The inscriptions on the “marginal” kinds of engravings (optical prints, folk woodcuts, fashion prints, etc.) usually include only the title of an engraving, the date, and the authorship, rarely, but at the same time — a lot of other inscriptions: serial numbers, the names of printers and publishers, their addresses, and so on. Despite the seeming insignificance of this information, it can be valuable, allowing to establish, in particular, the date.

The optical prints of the 18th — first quarter of the 19th century, a popular type of engravings, only recently has become the subject of special study. They usually do not have any authorship, though they do have prototypes in classical engravings. They are particularly the engravings with views of St. Petersburg made by Russian 18th century engravers after drawings by M. Makhaev. The dating of “video-engravings” is difficult, there are contradictions in the literature”, — noted an expert on “Makhaev’s optic prints”, M. Alexeyeva. With regard to Augsburg and Italian editions, these contradictions can be removed through the research in the Augsburg City Archive and thanks to revealed Remondini publishing house catalogs.

The analysis of the inscriptions in the margins can significantly refine the dating of the London and Paris editions of optical prints. English and French printers and publishers often wrote their addresses. From the comparison with address books of the 18th — early 19th centuries it is possible to determine the period of the release of various prints. Some of the publishers pointed out their address on prints, while others put down the names of their ancestors from whom they inherited the printing business. The same can be said about London publishers. In such cases, it is clear that they printed their engravings from the same printing plates; therefore, you can build a certain sequence of publications of certain engravings by different publishers.

Reference Demidenko, Iuliia B. The Vues d’optique Prints of the 18th — First Quarter of the 19th Century: From Inscriptions to Dating. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 8. Ed. S. V. Mal’tseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova, A. V. Zakharova. — St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Univ. Press, 2018, pp. 178–184. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
  • A Prodigal Story for the Marketplace. The Remondini & Eighteenth-Century Print Culture. Catalogue. Michigan, 2013. Available at: (accessed 15 December 2015).
  • Alekseeva M. Mikhailo Makhaev — master vidovogo risunka 18 veka (Mikhailo Makhaev — A Master of Cityscape Drawing of 18th Century). Saint Petersburg, Zhurnal Neva Publ., 2003. 448 p. (in Russian).
  • Alekseeva M. Russian Views on the European ‘Screens’ in the Second Half of the 18th Century. Alekseeva M. Iz istorii russkoi graviury 17 — nachala 19 v. (From the History of Russian Engraving of 17th — the Beginning of 19th Century). Moscow; Saint Petersburg, Al’iance-Archeo Publ., 2013, 587 p. (in Russian).
  • Balzer R. Peepshows: A Visual History. New York, Abrams Publ., 1998. 160 p.
  • Bertarelli A. La Remondiniana de Bassano Veneto: Contributo alla Storia delle Calcografie Italiane. Emporium 68, 1928, no. 408, pp. 358-369 (in Italian).
  • Bouvier B. La dynastie Bance, marchands d’estampes et libraires à Paris (1793-1862). 2005. Available at: (accessed 02 February 2016).
  • Bowles J. & Son. Catalogue of Maps, Prints, Copy Books &c. from off Copper-plates, printed for John Bowles and Son at the Black-Horse in Cornhull, London. London, John Bowles & Son Publ., 1753.
  • Courboin Fr. Lestampe française: graveurs et marchands. Bruxelles, G. Van Oest Publ., 2014. 213 p. (in French).
  • Demidenko J. Russian Views on the European ‘Screens’ — 2. Trudy Gosudarstvennogo muzeia istorii Sankt- Peterburga. Issledovaniia i materialy (Transactions of the State Museum of History of St. Petersburg. Researches and Materials), 2015, no. 25, pp. 16-33 (in Russian).
  • Dilke E. F. S. French Engravers and Draughtsmen of the 18th Century. London, Bell Publ., 1902. Reprint: London, 2013. 227 p.
  • Dubois A. Les Vues d’Optique: Collection Musée Nicéphore Niépce. Exhibition catalogue. Chalon-sur-Saône, Musée Nicéphore Niépce Publ., 1994 (in French).
  • Ganz Th. Die Welt im Kasten. Von der Camera obscura zur Audiovision. Zürich, Neue Züricher Zeitung Publ., 1994. 154 p. (in German).
  • Giuseppe Remondini. Catalogo delle stampa incise e delle carte di vario genere della dita Giuseppe Remondini e figli. 1803. 118 p. (in Italian).
  • Infelise M. I Remondini di Bassano: Stampa e industria nel Settecento. Bassano del Grappa, Ghedina & Tassotti Editori Publ., 1980. 220 p. (in Italian).
  • Infelise M.; Marini P. (eds.). Remondini. Un editore del Settecento. Catalogo della mostra. Milano, Electa Mondadori Publ., 1990. 384 p. (in Italian).
  • Kaff S. von. Guckkastenbilder aus dem Augsburger Verlag von Georg Balthasar Probst. 1732-1801. Gesamtkatalog. Weißenhorn, A. H. Konrad Publ., 2010. 560 p. (in German).
  • Katalog V. Eine Reise um die Welt: 100 Guckkastenbläter aus 2 Jahrhunderten anlässlich der Liber Berlin. 27. und 28 September 2013, Kulturforum, Matthaikirchplatz, 10785. Berlin, Antiquariat Clemens Paulusch GmbH Publ., 2013. 31 p. (in German).
  • Laurie and Whittle’s Catalogue of New and Interesting Prints... London, Robert Laurie and James Whittle Publ., 1795.
  • Laurie R. H. Catalogue of Perspective Views, Colored for the Shew Glass, or Diagonal Mirror. London, R. H. Laurie Publ., 1824.
  • Milano A. Selling Prints for the Remondini: Italian Pedlars Travelling through Europe during the Eighteenth Century. Not Dead Things: The Dissemination of Popular Print in England and Wales, Italy, and the Low Countries, 1500-1820. R. Harms; J. Raymond; J. Salman (eds.). Leiden, Brill Publ., 2013, pp. 75-96.
  • Poplonyk U.; Ryciny G. B. Probsta do latarni magicznei. Rocznik Muzeum narodovego w Warszawie, 1983, no. 27, pp. 73-133 (in Polish).
  • Seitz W. Augsburger Guckkastenblätter. Augen blick mal Optische Erfindungen von der Lochkamera zum Wanderkino mit Beiträgen zur Kinogeschichte in Schwaben. Gessertshausen Museumsdirektion des Bezirks Schwaben Publ., 1995, pp. 23-24 (in German).