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Greek Printing Types Of The French Renaissance: The ‘Grecs Du Roy’ And Their Successors

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Chapter Summary

Greek sixteenth-century type design can, roughly speaking, be linked to three cities: Venice, Basle, and Paris. Aldus Manutius and Venice dominate the first and second decade; Basle and the team Erasmus/Froben command the third and fourth; and Paris reaches pre-eminence from the 1540s onwards with Robert I Estienne and the 'Grecs du Roy'. This chapter focuses on the French Grecs du Roy, i.e. the Royal Greek types, cut by Claude Garamont, and their immediate emulations by Pierre Haultin, Robert Granjon, and Nicolas de Villiers. It is a report of work in progress and attempts to describe the main sixteenth-century Greek typefaces designed in France (or by French punchcutters abroad) from about 1540 on, as far as they can be ascribed. Twenty-three faces are described; of fourteen of them, punches, matrices, or cast type have been preserved.

Keywords: Aldus Manutius; Claude Garamont; France; Grecs du Roy; Nicolas de Villiers; Pierre Haultin; Robert Granjon; Robert I Estienne; sixteenth-century Greek typefaces



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