Giovanni Antonio Tagliente

Giovanni Antonio Tagliente (sometimes written Giovannantonio) (c. 1460s – c. 1528) was a calligrapher, author, printer and publisher based in Venice during the Renaissance period.[1][2]

Giovanni Antonio Tagliente's 1524 writing manual. This section is engraved as a simulation of Tagliente's handwriting; other parts were set in a typeface of similar design.

Tagliente began his life as a calligrapher and taught around Italy before returning to Venice in 1491. He worked for the Venetian Chancery and was given a sinecure by the senate, becoming a publisher late in life.[3]

Tagliente's publications were textbooks and self-help volumes.[4] These included guides on learning to read,[5] arithmetic,[6] accounting,[7] embroidery patterns,[8] textile production and a book of model love letters.[3][9][10][11] Some of his books were very popular and were issued in dozens of editions.[12][13] They have come to attention of feminist and social historians for their promotion of reading for women and the uneducated; his textbook on reading aimed to teach reading "in a period of two months, more or less depending on the intelligence of the reader."[10] He also wrote for a target market of potential civil servants.[12] Tagliente published a writing manual, The True Art of Excellent Writing or Lo presente libro, in Venice in 1524, with engravings and some text set in an italic typeface presumably based on his calligraphy.[14][15][16]

Tagliente's typeface was an inspiration for historically inclined typeface designers in modern times, becoming the inspiration for the italic of the popular 1928 book typeface Bembo.[2][1] Historian Alfred F. Johnson reprinted his work, along with his contemporary Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi.[17]


  1. ^ a b Morison, Stanley; Johnson, Alfred (2009). "3: The Chancery Types of Italy and France". In McKitterick, David John (ed.). Selected essays on the history of letter-forms in manuscript and print (Paperback reissue, digitally printed version. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 30–45. ISBN 978-0-521-18316-1. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Morison, Stanley (1973). A Tally of Types (New with additions by several hands ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 41–60. ISBN 978-0-521-09786-4.
  3. ^ a b Moulton, Ian Frederick (2014-04-16). Love in Print in the Sixteenth Century. Macmillan. pp. 119–125. ISBN 978-1-137-40504-3. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. ^ Rudolph M. Bell (1 September 2000). How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians. University of Chicago Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-226-04183-4.
  5. ^ Margaret W. Ferguson (1 November 2007). Dido's Daughters: Literacy, Gender, and Empire in Early Modern England and France. University of Chicago Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-226-24318-4.
  6. ^ David E. Rowe; Wann-Sheng Horng (12 May 2015). A Delicate Balance: Global Perspectives on Innovation and Tradition in the History of Mathematics: A Festschrift in Honor of Joseph W. Dauben. Birkhäuser. pp. 182–200. ISBN 978-3-319-12030-0.
  7. ^ Richard Brown (1 October 2006). A History of Accounting and Accountants. Cosimo, Inc. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-59605-961-0.
  8. ^ Janet S. Byrne; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) (1981). Renaissance Ornament Prints and Drawings. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-87099-288-9.
  9. ^ Moulton, Ian Frederick (2009). "Chapter 6: Sex, Love and Sixteenth-Century Print Culture". In Dimmock, Matthew; Hadfield, Andrew (eds.). Literature and popular culture in early modern England. Farnham, England: Ashgate. pp. 99–100. ISBN 978-0-7546-6580-9.
  10. ^ a b Calabresi, Bianca (2008). Hackel, Heidi; Kelly, Catherine (eds.). Reading women literacy, authorship, and culture in the Atlantic world, 1500–1800. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 97–99. ISBN 978-0-8122-0598-5. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  11. ^ Femke Speelberg (24 November 2015). "Fashion & Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620" The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 73, no. 2 (Fall, 2015). Metropolitan Museum of Art. pp. 23–27, 47. ISBN 978-1-58839-580-1.
  12. ^ a b Roy Porter; Mikulas Teich (1992). The Renaissance in National Context. Cambridge University Press. pp. 62, 67. ISBN 978-0-521-36970-1.
  13. ^ Ruth B. Bottigheimer (23 February 2012). Fairy Tales Framed: Early Forewords, Afterwords, and Critical Words. SUNY Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4384-4222-8.
  14. ^ Arrighi, Ludovico Vicentino degli (1524). La operina di Ludouico Vicentino, da imparare di scriuere littera cancellarescha. Rome/Venice?. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  15. ^ Clayton, Ewan (2013). The Golden Thread: the story of writing. Counterpoint. pp. 128–151. ISBN 978-1-61902-350-5.
  16. ^ Tagliente, Giovanni Antonio (1524). Lo presente libro insegna la vera arte de lo excellente scriuere de diuerse varie sorti de litere le quali se fano per geometrica ragione & con la presente opera ognuno le potra stampare e impochi giorni per lo amaistramento, ragione, & essempli, come qui sequente vederai. Venice. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  17. ^ Johnson, Alfred (1952). Three Classics of Italian Calligraphy. Dover Publications.

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