Hugues Demeude The Animated Alphabet

ISBN 13: 9780500279083

The Animated Alphabet

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9780500279083: The Animated Alphabet
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Letters have a mysterious and cabalistic quality that has inspired artists through the ages. Calligraphers, painters, and engravers have never ceased to shape and decorate them, using them as a starting point for limitless dreams and fantasies. The illuminated initials of medieval manuscripts, ranging from Romanesque exuberance to Gothic excess, paved the way. Here were not only Biblical scenes but also mythical beasts and human figures that were direct precursors of the zoomorphic and anthropomorphic alphabets of the Renaissance and later. With the invention of printing, the inventiveness of artists knew no bounds. Ornamented letters presented historical and mythical events, romantic landscapes, trees, flowers, buildings, clowns, devils, children, and every kind of animal. There was, indeed, no subject that could not be put to the service of the animated alphabet. Hugues Demeude shares his passion for the decorated letter in a succinct historical text and a vast range of beautifully reproduced examples from the eighth to the twentieth century, from sacred illuminated manuscripts to mass-produced postcards. Lovers of art and design will relish the decorative profusion, which includes examples from the Corbie Psalter and Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, and the work of artists such as Albrecht Durer, Hans Holbein, Lucas Cranach, Honore Daumier, and Kate Greenaway.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

From Library Journal:

Demeude's preoccupation with letters has led him to bring together illuminated initials and ornamental characters from 12 centuries of alphabets and typography, ranging from 8th-century sacred manuscripts to 20th-century mass-produced postcards. Included are samples from over 100 alphabets created by such artists as Durer, Holbein, Daumier, and Kate Greenaway. The animated letters may be draped with the human form, used to offer historical or biblical scenes, or entwined with naturalistic scenes. While the accompanying historical notes and essays are succinct, the visuals will be of the most value as a study collection. The Getty's diminutive (51/4" x 71/4") volumes contain reproductions and notes on calligraphy and miniature paintings from a work commissioned by the court of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II during the 16th century. Currently in the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Mira calligraphiae monumenta (Model Book of Calligraphy) is the combined effort of master calligrapher Georg Bocskay and court artist Joris Hoefnagel. Considered one of the most precious books of the European Renaissance, it represents the transition from medieval European manuscript illumination to the emergence of the floral still life genre of the early 17th century. Nature Illuminated contains reproductions of 41 manuscript pages with meticulous studies of flora and fauna. An Abecedarium contains 38 illuminated reproductions of Roman capital and Gothic lowercase letters. These unique titles are best suited to specialized art and design collections.?Judith Yankeilun Lind, Roseland Free
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Demeude, Hugues
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