St. Catherine of Sienna.
Epistole Devotissime de Sancta Catharina da Siena.
Venice: Aldus Manutius,
19 September 1500.
The woodcut image of the mystic St. Catherine (1347–1380) includes the first words ever printed in italic type, iesu dolce | iesu amore in the book in her right hand, and iesus in the heart in her left hand. The font, cut by Francesco Griffo (1450–1518), was modeled on humanist handwriting of the day, with some scholars concluding that the model was Aldus’s own hand. Italic type found its full expression in the Latin octavos that Aldus was to begin printing in 1501.
From the collection of T. Kimball Brooker.