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March 29, 2011

Watermarks from Venice

Preclarissimus liber elementorum with figures
Euclides; Abelard of Bath (translation); Campanus of Novara (commentator)

© Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Source: LUNA Commons, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

Currently at the Hatcher Graduate Library in the Special Collections on the 7th floor is an exhibition on early print books from Venice from the late 15th century onwards. Due to Venice’s many paper mills, its importance as a trading center, and its wealth of scholars and translators, printmakers traveled from France, Germany and all over Europe to work in this flourishing print environment. On display are books including the works of Aristotle and Euclid printed by Nicolaus Jenson, Erhard Ratdolt, Aldus Manutius and Andreas Torresanus. The innovations employed in print, from Ratdolt’s use of print for both text and graphics to Manutius’ design for smaller books, are displayed along with information on printing techniques, the use of watermarks, printing tools and the development of printed books in Greek. This captivating exhibit that tells the story of the printed book in Venice is well worth a visit before it ends on June 30th.

Posted by rmassare at March 29, 2011 02:00 PM


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