Catalogue 38
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“One of the Most Beautiful Comprehensive 'Monumental' Treatises" – Descargues

HEINEKEN, Paul. Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum, Das ist: Ein heller Spiegel der Perspective. Augsburg, Heirs of Jeremiah Wolff, 1727.

Folio [37 x 23 cm], engraved frontispiece signed Georg David Nessenthaler after C.P. Heineken, (2), 32 pp., 105 figures on 95 consecutively numbered plates (many folded). Bound in contemporary half vellum with marbled paper over boards (spine painted red, rather worn). Light marginal foxing, but generally very good, with plates in dark, crisp impressions.


Rare first edition of this richly illustrated work on practical perspective. “This is one of the most beautiful comprehensive ‘monumental’ treatises written in the eighteenth century” (Descargues, Perspective, pp. 138-44). 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), and indeed, Heineken addresses his work on the “beautiful Science” to “amateurs and beginners.”

The Lucidum Prospectivae Speculum consists of a striking series of richly Baroque views, many of church interiors. In addition to ornate capitals, altars and tombs, etc., Heineken includes a remarkable group of trompe l’oeil ceilings observed from different vantage points. He also discusses at length the falling of shadows outside and within enclosed spaces, and the effect of candlelight by day as well as night. Polyhedrons and the reflections in water complete the volume. The majority of the non-geometrical plates include at least one human figure to provide a sense of scale. A concise preface explicates the images.

Heineken (1680-1740) was an artist in Lübeck. This, his only publication, received a second edition in 1753.

OCLC lists a single copy, Princeton. We have also located a copy at HAB-Wolffenbüttel.

* Berlin Kat. 4730; Vagnetti EIVb20; Guilmard 425.

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