Giovanni Battista Braccelli

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Curious Designs WDL200, complete text.

Giovanni Battista Bracelli (floruit 1616 - 1649)[1] was an Italian engraver and painter of the Baroque period, active Florence.


He apprenticed under Giovanni Battista Paggi (il Paggi).[2] He is best known for his book of prints: Bizzarie di Varie Figure, published in 1624 in Livorno, and dedicated to Don Pietro Medici. The depiction of a variety of human shapes aggregated from a variety of objects or landscapes appears prescient of modern cubist experiments. In this book, he engraves baroque experiments recalling Arcimboldo, engaging in a rarified set of conceits. Some of the figures are composed of boxes, racquets, or curlicues.

Equally quizzical is his Alfabeto figurato which consists of alphabets constituted by acrobatic calligraphy of human forms. Added to this were some vedute of Rome and Roman artworks. He also published a collection of prints of conventional individuals engaged with playing musical instruments, entitled Figure Con Instrumenti Musicali E Boscarecci. A similar alphabet was once engraved by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli (Bologna 1634-1718).[3]



  1. ^ British Museum. Giovanni Battista Bracelli (Biographical details). Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  2. ^ Soprani, Raffaello (1769). Carlo Giuseppe Ratti (ed.). Delle vite de' pittori, scultori, ed architetti genovesi; Tomo secundo scritto da Carlo Giuseppe Ratti. Stamperia Casamara in Genoa, dalle Cinque Lampadi, con licenza de Superiori; Digitized by Googlebooks from Oxford University copy on Feb 2, 2007. pp. 198–199.
  3. ^ Catalogue of Italian Works at Utah Museum of Fine Arts, curated by E. Frank Sanguinetti, and Ursula M Brinkman, article by MG. page 122.

Also see[edit]

Bracelli’s Bizzarie di Varie Figure (1624)