Ornamental print  

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Bouquet on back of peddler (17C) by Isaac Briot
Bouquet on back of peddler (17C) by Isaac Briot
From the Bizzarie di varie figure (1624) by Giovanni Battista Braccelli
From the Bizzarie di varie figure (1624) by Giovanni Battista Braccelli

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An ornamental print or ornament print (German Ornamentstich) is the name given to prints showing ornaments or decorative works. In the words of the British museum: "The term refers to a print with decorative ornament for craftsmen in all fields of the applied arts, and is often published in sets." In France, the artists of this genre are called ornemanistes.

The Museum für angewandte Kunst Wien has a large collection of Baroque grotesque ornamental prints. In their own words:

"Apart from the many uses of ornamental designs in all kinds of applied arts, ornamental artists have always been interested in designing ornaments purely for their own sake as well. Many artists may be mentioned in this respect; in the following we will call attention to only three as being exemplary for their times. One is the French court artist Jean Bérain I (1640–1711), whose designs for wall decorations in the grotesque style influenced all types of interior decoration and applied arts (wood, glass and enamelwork in equal measure) of his period. Also worthy of mention is the sequence “Mascarade à la Grecque”, designs for a parade at the Court of Parma created in 1711 by Ennemond Alexandre Petitot (1720–1772), one of the pioneers of classicism.
A third outstanding example is the “opus maximum” of the German grotesque by Christoph Jamnitzer of Nuremburg, dating from around 1610, which, as the frontispiece of the book reveals, was named “Neuw Grotteßken Buch”. It includes 60 folios with panels, goldsmith ornaments, ornaments in the auricular style and scrollwork ornaments, putti, erotic drawings and monstrous forms. Because of the wide variety of designs it contains, the volume enjoyed great popularity among craftspersons of the time." [1]


Important artists




Low Countries



See also

Ornamental print highlights

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