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Greek Typefaces Of The Early French Renaissance: The Predecessors Of The Grecs Du Roy

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Chapter Summary

During the first four decades of the sixteenth century, the leading centres in Greek type design were Venice and Basle, not Paris or Lyons. This chapter attempts to describe the rather unpretentious Greek text types, both the locally made and the imported ones, used in France during the first half of sixteenth century, in the period of thirty odd years before the Grecs du Roy (1543) began their thriving career. The main goal of the chapter is to ascertain the origins of the ten typefaces studied and, if possible, to detect their makers. Subsidiarily this research sheds some light on the development from about 1520 onwards of a Paris school of letter-cutters, who began to specialize in Roman, Greek, and Hebrew typefaces and to counter the Basle dominance in this field. Ten typefaces are described, all in the body size of Saint-augustin (English), except for two on Cicero (Pica).

Keywords: Cicero; France; Grecs du Roy; Greek text types; Paris; Saint-augustin; sixteenth century



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