March 19, 2003

Perspectiva

The exhibition review which led me to the work of Giovanni Battista Bracelli (see below), also made intriguing mention of another work, a volume of designs by a German goldsmith called Christoph Jamnitzer. In the reviewer’s estimation, Bracelli’s designs were ‘timid’ in comparison with those in Jamnitzer’s Neuw Grottesken Buch.

First of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer

Second of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer

I have been unable to find any on-line images from this work, but in so doing discovered that the Jamnitzer family had other illustrious sons, who, like Cristoph, worked as goldsmiths in 16th/17th Century Nuremburg. Perhaps the most famous of the clan was Cristoph’s grandfather Wentzel (or Wenzel) Jamnitzer, author of a visually fascinating work entitled Perspectiva Corporum Regularium.

Third of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer

Fourth of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer

George Hart, author of the Virtual Polyhedra web-site, rates Jamnitzer as ‘one of the most creative polyhedral artists of all time.’ Hart’s site also features pages on the contribtions to polyhedral art by Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer, amongst others.

Fifth of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer

Sixth of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer

I lifted the present images from this site, which presents the work complete. At least one other site also plays host to a complete edition of the Perspectiva… Click on the images to see the etchings in a larger format.

Seventh of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer

Last of eight etchings of polyhedra after designs by Wentzel Jamnitzer
Posted by misteraitch at March 19, 2003 04:15 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Here be marvels. I found your site from a reference through The Jamais Vu. You have an eye for the marvelous and the bizarre. I wish - I had an actual sculpture of one of these designs. Who could afford such a thing?

Posted by: Felicity on March 20, 2003 09:10 AM

It's a brilliant idea (the seven-things, that is), and I have often thought that the new year would be better started in spring than in the depth of winter.

I'd suggest perhaps sassafras tea as a symbol of restoration and good health, salmon as a symbol of renewal (not to mention the broader notion of the fish as a Christian icon), and sage for its connotation of wisdom.

Posted by: Brian on March 20, 2003 03:33 PM

I found a copy of this in Mexico City, published by Siruela Editions. It is quite beautiful.

Felicity, maybe you can make them yourself! A friend of mine made paper versions of all possible regular polyhedrons when he was a kid.

Posted by: Caterina on March 20, 2003 08:51 PM
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