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Vevey’s Fontaine Orientale – 18th Century Engraving

Fontaine de Vevay (Vevey)

Text Reads: “Ville situee sur le Lac de Geneve a quartre Lieues de Lausanne, cette Fontaine dans le gout Egyptien a ete compose par le Sr. Brandouin Langlois.” (Town on Lake Geneva four leagues from Lausanne, this fountain was created by Mr. Brandouin Langlois)

Dessine par Paris, grave par Dupare – The letters A.P.D.R. appear on the print, which means it was engraved “avec privilège du roi” – or licensed by the king – this is an annotation which one sees only on prints published before the French revolution. It indicated the print had been approved by the French censures.

In the 18th Century, the town of Vevey decided to add a third fountain the water sources in the town.  A plan for a monumental Egyptian inspired fountain was drawn up by the artist and designer Michel-Vincent Brandoin and completed in 1773.  It was considered strikingly modern for its time, and caught the eye of the French architect Pierre-Adrien Paris who drew the basis for this engraving from Zurlauben’s topography.  The artist and caricaturist Brandoin was the son of Huguenot refugee and born in Vevey who played an important role in spreading the influence of neo-classicism in the region.  He was known as “L’Anglais” (the Englishman) since he had lived for 10 years in England and married an Englishwoman.

Over the course of the centuries, the fountain was moved twice, but it survived and today it sits at the base of the Tour de L’Horloge.

Dimensions: Sheet including margins measures around 12.5 X 9.5 inches (32 X 24 cm). Image size around 8.65 x 6 inches (22 x 16 cm)

Condition: This is one half of an original folio sheet which had two separate copperplate images on it.  Very good. Cut to edge of platemark at top.

Tableaux de la Suisse

Published in different editions between 1770 and 1786

Beat Fidel Antoine Dominique Zurlauben (1720 - 1799) and Jean-Benjamin de Laborde (1734 - 1794)

With over 400 beautifully produced engravings, Baron de Zurlauben’s “Tableaux de la Suisse” is one of the most complete and beautiful books on Switzerland ever produced. The project was supported by Jean Benjamin de Laborde (1734 – 1794), a lieutenant general in the French army, and a favorite of Louis XV, and the Swiss General and military historian Baron von Zurlauben. The principal author, Zurlauben (1720 – 1799), had studied history with Jean Rollin in Paris and was a general of the “Schweizergard” (Swiss Guards) who protected French Royalty.

The full title of the work is: Tableaux De La Suisse, Ou Voyage Pittoresque Fait Dans Les Treize Cantons Et Etats Allies Du Corps Helvetique : Représentant les divers Phénomenes que la nature y rassemble, & les beautés dont l’art les enrichis; suivis de la description topographique, physique, historique, morale, politique & littéraire de ce Pays Par M. le Baron De ZurLauben.