In the 19th century, an Italian artist created an architectural alphabet in which letters are depicted as monumental structures. The 1839 “Alfabeto Pittorico” (pictorial alphabet) by Antonio Basoli reimagines classical architecture as a towering typeface, from “S” as a cemetery to “N” as part of a colosseum.
The Bologna-based Basoli often worked in the theater designing sets, but it’s not clear what purpose he envisioned for the letters other than a whimsical mash-up of architecture and language. [EDIT: As a commenter pointed out, the letters all seem to indicate the structure they’re a part of, such as “H” for “Harem,” “B” for “Babel,” and “C” for crypt.] (No “W” or “J” included, as it’s an Italian alphabet.) But he’s not the only artist to have built an architectural typeface, or the first. In 1773, Johan Steingruber created an alphabet of actual building plans for palaces, and in the 1840s Jean Baptiste de Pian designed a series of lithographs with letters as domestic and more fantastical spaces.
Sadly, none were ever been built. But inspired by The Paris Review‘s spelling of its initials, “TPR,” from Basoli’s alphabet, here’s our blogazine moniker built with an “H” fortress, an “L” topped by burning flames, a sailing “G” sporting a giant rabbit, and more of the whimsical letters:
Find Antonio Basoli’s complete “Alfabeto Pittorico” at Sploid.
An extraordinary variety of artists came to Jon Swihart and Kim Merrill’s backyard potlucks, discussing not just their work, but also the events and challenges of their lives.
With A Lion for Every House at the Art Institute of Chicago, Floating Museum riffs wildly on the art rental programs of some museums.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
A Thing for the Mind takes Philip Guston’s 1978 painting “Story” as a starting point to examine the myriad ways in which this piece has filtered into the work of other painters.
An Oakland librarian and a French teacher in Oklahoma City collect ephemera they discover in returned and used books, from photos and recipes to love letters.
Until you’ve seen a place for yourself, it’s a bit of an abstract idea. So why not ask Artificial Intelligence to create your travel poster?
Incarcerated people will be allowed to read Heather Ann Thompson’s 2016 Blood in the Water, except for two pages featuring a map of the prison.
The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno welcomes guests to learn about “The Architect to the Stars” through captivating black and white photography. On view through October 2.
The long-lost painting resurfaced at the upscale Urban Gallery in Tel Aviv, sparking the anger of Palestinians.
“Guests in love, please understand — most of the exhibits in our museum are objects ‘born’ many years ago and subject to completely different moral standards,” said the Fort Gerhard museum in a statement.
This week, the Webb space telescope wows, übernovels, crappy pigeon nests, the problem with “experts,” and much more.