3 June 2009
ETIENNEZ, Hippolyte. L'Italie à vol d'oiseau, ou histoire et description sommaires des principales villes de cette contrée ... accompagnées de quarante grandes vues générales dessinées d'après nature par A. Guesdon. Paris: A. Hauser, -1852.
2° (575 x 400 mm). 40pp. letterpress only, hand-coloured engraved map, and 31 (of 42) numbered tinted lithographic plates, heightened in white. Issued without a title-page. (Variable spotting to plates.) Unbound sheets in original printed wrapper (from which title transcribed).
A REMARKABLE COLLECTION OF BIRD'S EYE VIEWS after the French painter, lithographer and architect Alfred Guesdon (1808-1876), issued in parts with 4 plates in each, and possibly never completed. The BL copy contains 84pp. text and 42 plates; the copy in the National Art Library is a fragment (19 plates only up to plate 34). To achieve his meticulous aerial perspectives, Guesdon may have used photographs taken by the English photographer, Charles Clifford (see A.G. Gordo, 'Paisajes urbanos vistos desde globo: dibujos de Guesdon sobre fotos de Clifford hacia 1853-55' in EGA: revista de expresion grafica arquitectonica 9 (2004), pp. 110-117). Alternatively, he may have employed a geometrical device. García y García, p. 591 no. 6453 (plate 'Pompéi. Vue prise au dessus de l'Odéon et du Théâtre tragique').
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