Monday, 24 January 2011

Martin Engelbrecht + Nicolas de l'Armessin

At the end of the 17th century Nicolas de l'Armessin (one of them: there were a few artisans by that name) engraved a series of plates - Costumes Grotesques - in which tradesmen and their occupations were depicted with the tools of their trade as body parts.

In 1730 Martin Engelbrecht released his series of similar figures to de l'Armessin (
Assemblage nouveau des manouvries habilles).

During the 19th century when the idea of physiognomy - judging characters by their physical appearance (eg. phrenology) - had its greatest following, English lithographic artists GE Madeley and G Spratt released another series (itself after
Cooke's 'Implemental Characters') of occupation prints. The pseudo-anthropomorphic illustrations were issued just prior to the Victorian industrial period when satirical presentation of the 'machine-age' was common.

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