Valerio Spada: Historiated Alphabet, 1656 – 1659 [A-M] [details]

[Picture: Valerio Spada: Historiated Alphabet, 1656 – 1659 [A-M]]

Valerio Spada: Historiated Alphabet, 1656 – 1659 [A-M] more

alphabets, lettering, historiated initials, backgrounds, wallpaper, greyscale

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Valerio Spada: Historiated Alphabet, 1656 – 1659 [A-M] [1656]

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Out of copyright (called public domain in the USA), hence royalty-free stock image for all purposes usage credit requested
Please do not redistribute without permission, since running this site is expensive.


Valerio Spada was a contemporary of Stefano della Bella. This Historiated Alphabet—that is, this set of decorated initials with scenes in them – features scenes from seventeenth century Italy, mostly landscapes with figures (people) in them. Spada was known for combining miniature scenes with lettering or calligraphy.

Note that these letters are not perfectly square! The individual letters are (or will be) also available for free download.

The image dimensions given in the exhibition catalogue are 168x238mm (platemark), and 178x248mm for the whole sheet. The image was screened for print, and I have not found a better version. The original is from the Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

See also N – Z and Æ.



185 x 145mm (7.3 x 5.7 inches)

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2400 dots per inch


You can get a version of this image without the watermark (the URL at the lower right corner). Download image. The images are watermarked to help people find where they came from if they get reposted to blogs or other sites. Images under 1200 pixels on a side are still free, although I will ask for a donation :-)

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