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Early Paris Italics; 1512–1549

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Chapter Summary

Italic, as a typographical term, denotes a cursive Roman letter, slightly sloping for the most part and introduced as a typeface in 1500. Aldus Manutius introduced this new type family in the years 1500/1501 for a series of reasonably priced 'portabiles' or pocket books in an octavo format. This chapter endeavours to describe all 'Aldine' Italics that originated in Paris during the first half of the sixteenth century. It charts twenty-nine cursives. Three periods of intensive activity in the development of the early Paris Italics can be distinguished. The first period falls in the second decade of the sixteenth century and may be distinguished by their main users, Le Rouge and Kerver. The second period occurs in the fourth decade and could be designated by the name of its principal representative, Simon de Colines. The third and final period falls in the 1540s and may be termed Garamont's.

Keywords: Aldus Manutius; early Paris Italics; Garamont period; Le Rouge period; Simon de Colines



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