Alfabeto Pittorico: An Alphabet Book Of Fictional Architecture By Antonio Basoli
Antonio Basoli was an Italian artist that lived between the 18th and the 19th century working mostly in Bologna. Among other things, he created these beautiful architectural alphabet engravings called Alfabeto Pittorico. I wish there was a place called Alphabet City where all these buildings were real.
These are works of pure fabulism — Basoli, a painter and designer from Bologna, created sets and curtains for the theater, and his alphabet has a lot of stagecraft to it. Every letter looks like a scene from another play. Part of the fun is in wondering what compelled him to make these engravings at all: Was he on some kind of precursor to LSD?
Had he been dissed by an illiterate architect, against whom he sought fanciful revenge? Did he need a novel pedagogical device to teach the ABC’s to his distracted children? Whatever his motive, he brought an impressive imagination to the table. His G, for instance, is built on a Viking ship with a rabbit at its bow; K appears to be in some sort of mosque, with people in prayer all around; S is carved into a treacherous cliff, at the foot of which is a grave with a mourner. S—the cruelest letter.