Curious Designs

Description

Braccelli’s Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. Squares, triangles, circles, and parallelograms take the place of muscle, bone, and tissue, defining the body in a new visual vocabulary. Braccelli’s designs are unique in the history of book illustration. They represent a high point in the Mannerist style of etching that flourished in the 17th century. Mannerism incorporated the techniques of the Renaissance but rejected the classical imagery and harmonious style that is the hallmark of much 15th- and 16th-century European art. Braccelli’s work had considerable influence on later generations of artists. His figures were adopted, for example, during the 20th century by the Surrealists, who lavished praise on his geometric forms and his ability to invest mechanical images with graceful, human qualities. Some of the etchings portray human emotion, as when figures dance across the page or struggle with one another in mortal combat. Braccelli’s works are very rare. This copy from the Rosenwald Collection of the Library of Congress is the most complete copy known to exist.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Livorno, Italy

Language

Title in Original Language

Bizzarie di varie figure

Place

Type of Item

Physical Description

50 leaves of plates : chiefly illustrations ; 18 x 25 centimeters

Last updated: November 19, 2014