Figures Walking in a Parkland

Object Details

Title:

Figures Walking in a Parkland

Artist/Maker(s):

Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle (French, 1717 - 1806)

Culture:

French

Date:

1783 - 1800

Medium:

Watercolor and gouache with traces of black chalk underdrawing on translucent Whatman paper

Dimensions:

47.3 x 377 cm (18 5/8 x 148 7/16 in.)

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Beginning at the left, an aristocratic couple strolls through a parkland rich in monuments and follies, concluding at a moated two-story country house. Few of Carmontelle's "transparents" exist today; only this one contains an entire story with a beginning, middle, and end. The rouleau transparent, not unlike the later magic lantern, was an early ancestor to movies. The rolled-up drawing, over twelve feet long, would have been cranked through a peep box with a hole for daylight to illuminate the translucent paper from behind. Such amusements added theatrical effects to capitalize on quasi-scientific interest in optical illusion. Within the drawing Louis Carmontelle captured many favorite outdoor diversions of the aristocracy in the late 1700s, including garden design and architecture. The obelisk, pyramid, temple, and other garden structures of this setting resemble his design for Paris's Parc Monceau.

Provenance
April 17-18, 1807

Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle, French, 1717 - 1806, His sale, probably included in a lot containing eleven boxes of "rouleaux transparents."

Private Collection (France)

Art Market (Paris)

Exhibitions
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (2000) (March 14 to May 28, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to May 28, 2000
Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen (November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002) (293)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (March 14 to June 18, 2006) (293)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to June 18, 2006
Capturing Nature's Beauty: Three Centuries of French Landscapes (July 28 to November 1, 2009) (293)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 28 to November 1, 2009