Cyrillic & Oriental Typography in Rome at the End of the Sixteenth Century: an enquiry into the later work of Robert Granjon (1578-90)

vervliet2 This is the only full-length monograph on the life and work of Robert Granjon, pre-eminent French type designer of the sixteenth century.

This book focuses on the work he did for the Jesuits in Rome in their quest for world spiritual domination through printing.

vervlietsprFormer Director of the Plantin-Moretus Museum and head of the Antwerp University Library, Dr H. D. L. Vervliet, the foremost authority on sixteenth-century printing, discusses the impact of Granjon’s Arabic types, the controversy over the cutting of his Cyrillic, and for the first time ascribes Hebrew and other types to the brilliant innovative French typographical artist. From the book: “As a punch-cutter, Granjon was Garamont’s equal. While it is true that the Roman faces which he cut follow the unsurpassable model of vervliet3Garamont, they are freer, richer, more calligraphic. If, in the history of roman typographic characters, Garamont’s represent the sober, static, immutable beauty of the Renaissance, Granjon’s for their part display the exuberance, ostentation, magnificent assurance and technical perfection of the Baroque. As ‘inventor’ of new graphic forms, he far surpassed Garamont. From this viewpoint, Granjon is more the ‘artist’, Garamont more the ‘artisan’.”

vervTPTranslation and typography by Alastair Johnston; set in Mergenthaler Galliard designed by Matthew Carter (based on later designs of Robert Granjon). 500 copies bound in printed paper over boards with cloth spine. Endpapers from an ornament design by Granjon; the cover image is Granjon’s big bulrush (“grand jonc”) and dolphin device.

With 31 specimens of types by Robert Granjon.

  • Author: H. D. L. Vervliet
  • Year: 1981
  • Pages: 70
  • Hardcover: $150


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