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Paulini’s Mythological Alphabet

Twenty engravings of the roman capitals A-I, L-T, V, and Z. ” Each letter is a fantastic composite of human figures, botanical and marine specimens, landscapes or cityscapes, with a frame of arabesques, grotesques, putti, antique statuary, and the like. No two frames are identical. Each letter encapsulates a mythological episode from the Methamorphoses of Ovid. For example: the A for Actaeon, B for Bacchus, C for Cadmus, etc. The Ovidian episode is illustrated behind each letter, and printed captions identify the figures: for example “Ateone mutato in Cervo da Diana:” Actaeon being metamorphosed into a deer by the nude bathing Diana, etc.”

The engravings are supposedly from 1570, but still no one knows for sure the date and even if it was done by this artist somewhat unknown, Paulini.

But one thing it’s I do know, as a kid I would have loved to know my ABC’s with the help of these engravings.

Paulini's Mythological Alphabeth

Paulini's Mythological Alphabeth 2 Paulini's Mythological Alphabeth 3

See the rest of the Alphabeto at The Getty Research institute archive.

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