Giambattista Bodoni was born into printing and type design. Both his father and his grandfather, as well as his brothers, were printers.
Bodoni’s acknowledged masterpiece, among a constellation of exceptionally fine publications, is this Manuale Tipografico. On its pages are shown many of the 22,618 punches and 42,148 matrices designed and engraved by Bodoni for 289 different typefaces; a remarkable achievement for one man.
Work began on the Manuale in the early years of the nineteenth century, but Bodoni’s health failed, and he did not live to see it completed. It was left to his foreman and his widow to finish the book, which was finally completed five years after his death.
PROVENANCE: Samuel Putnam Avery; given to the Library of the Grolier Club