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Giovanni Battista Braccelli

Giovanni Battista Braccelli (ca. 1600, d. before 1650) was an Italian engraver and painter of the Baroque period, who was active in Firenze. He is best known for his book of prints, Bizzarie di Varie Figure [a variety of human shapes], published in 1624 in Livorno, and dedicated to Don Pietro Medici. It contains wonderful futuristic engravings. Wikipedia: In this book, he engraves baroque experiments recalling Arcimboldo, engaging in a rarified set of conceits. Some of the figures are composed of boxes or raquets or curlicues. He published a second collection of prints entitled Figure Con Instrumenti Musicali E Boscarecci. Finally, he created Alfabeto figurato (1632, Italy), letters made by human forms.

Link to his human figure alphabet.

Digitization of his Bizzarie di varie figure include Bracelli Geometric Human Forms (Dick Pape, 2010). Dick Pape writes: Giovanni Battista Braccelli's Bizzarie di varie figure contains a suite of 50 etchings that celebrate the human figure in geometric forms. (1624) 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.

Giovanni Battista Braccelli
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file name: bracelli

file name: Dick Pape Bracelli Geometric Human Forms 2010

file name: Dick Pape Braccelli Geometric Human Forms 2010b

file name: Dick Pape Braccelli Geometric Human Forms 2010d

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