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Garamont’S Canons: Roman Type Design In Sixteenth-Century France

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Chapter Summary

The merit of introducing the first complete set of Old-face Romans worthy of the name belongs to Robert I Estienne, one of the greatest scholar-printers of the sixteenth century. The cutting of these splendid Romans is generally attributed to the famous Parisian punchcutter, Claude Garamont. The fact that the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp still possesses many sets of Garamont matrices today has led us to examine them more carefully. This chapter first explains more about this admirable character, the prototype of al Romans called Old-face, which were produced during the next few centuries. Second, it questions the reliability of the attribution to Garamont. In 1621, Jean Jannon in Sedan cut his famous copy of Garamont's types, Canon included.58 Famous not so much for the quality of the design but as for the long-term confusion it created concerning the origin of the punches.

Keywords: Claude Garamont; Old-face Romans; Parisian punchcutter; Robert I Estienne; sixteenth century



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