Item #3346 Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective. Paul HEINEKEN.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.
“One of the Most Beautiful Comprehensive 'Monumental' Treatises" – Descargues
Augsburg, Heirs of Jeremiah Wolff, 1727.

Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective.

Folio [37 x 23 cm], (1) f. engraved frontispiece signed Georg David Nessenthaler after C.P. Heineken, (2) ff., 32 pp., 105 figures on 95 consecutively numbered plates (many folded), with woodcut headpiece, tailpieces and initials. Bound in contemporary half vellum with red and blue painted paper over boards, spine painted red, blue and red sprinkled edges. Some rubbing and edge wear to spine and boards, one vellum tip missing, shelf mark on upper cover, ownership marks on front endpapers. Occasional light marginal foxing, the occasional unobtrusive stain, small mend to plate 64, with plates in dark, crisp impressions.

First edition of the noted Lübeck architect, painter & draftsman Paul Heinecken’s (1674-1746) richly illustrated work on the practical applications of perspective to the broader fields of architecture, sculpture, and the pictorial arts, and a book considered to be “one of the most beautiful comprehensive ‘monumental’ treatises written in the eighteenth century” (Descargues, pp. 138-44). Martin Kemp identifies Heineken’s text as one commonly used by 18th-century artists to master the technicalities of perspectival representation (The Science of Art, p. 227), while Heineken assures his readers that the work on the “beautiful Science” is also accessible to “amateurs and beginners.”

The Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum consists of a striking series 95 full-page plates of exquisite Baroque views, including many of church interiors. After first illustrating geometrical fundamentals and issues concerning the classical orders, Heineken presents a remarkable group of plates treating the behavior of shadows at night and in the day, the depiction of staircases and open doors, and the perspectival problems encountered in secular or domestic architecture. These prints move well beyond the typical diagrammatic representations commonly found in such treatises, instead offering fully realized and richly engraved compositions populated by various human figures.

Ecclesiastical architecture is addressed in 25 plates depicting church interiors with a special emphasis on designs for confessionals, pulpits, tombs, and elaborate altarpieces: These plates – while ostensibly presented as exercises in virtuoso perspective – also serve as a sort of historical catalogue of Heineken’s highly creative designs for these monumental ensembles incorporating architecture, sculpture and painting.

The volume concludes with a remarkable group of 19 plates treating the construction of trompe l’oeil ceilings as observed from different vantage points. Heineken describes quadratura and di sotto in sù techniques for use both in secular settings (following the tradition of Andrea Mantegna at the Camera degli Sposi in Mantua’s Palazzo Ducale and anticipating Giambattista Tiepolo’s paintings at the Würzburger Residenz), and in ecclesiastical settings (in accord with, e.g., the work of Pietro da Cortona, Fra Pozzo, G. B. Gaulli, Giulio Quaglio, and others).

OCLC lists U. S. copies of this 1727 first edition at the Getty, Princeton, NGA, Indiana, and Columbia. The Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum received a second edition in 1753, which is also uncommon  today. 

* Berlin Kat. 4730; Vagnetti EIVb20; Guilmard 425; Descargues, Perspective; M. Kemp, The Science of Art.

Price: $9,850.00

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