Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Fellowship of the Book: Manutius & Bembo

The figure of Aldus Manutius, the “Michelangelo of the Book,” is inseparable from the city where he produced his most important innovations: Venice, the principal printing centre of the Renaissance. 

Aldus’ most notable relationship with Venice, though, emerges through his fellowship with the intellectual and polygraph Pietro Bembo. Whereas Manutius revolutionized printing and reading, Bembo revolutionized the Italian literary language and canon. 

Manutius and Bembo’s partnership was particularly successful mainly because it benefited both sides equally. Bembo owed Manutius his first steps in the literary arena, since Aldus published his first texts – the scientific treatise De Aetna and the dialogue Gli Asolani– and entrusted Bembo with the critical edition of Dante’s and Petrarch’s immortal masterpieces. For the De Aetna, Manutius decided to use a new italic typeface, and commissioned it to his trusted punchcutter Francesco Griffo: in 1495-96, thus, the Bembo typeface was born. 

read entire article - The Fellowship of the Book by Elisa Mondolo here @ SFU Library Special Collections & Rare Books

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