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The Lure of the Letter: Renaissance Venice and Antique Lettering

Debra Pincus, independent scholar. The letterforms of antiquity—both capitals and small letters—were brought back to life in the Renaissance, the result of a fervent study of ancient inscriptions and manuscripts. These revived antique letters are the letters that we use today. In this lecture recorded on June 16, 2013 at the National Gallery of Art, Debra Pincus talks about the process of recovery in the 15th century, and the particular role played by Venice and nearby territory in making antique letters available to Renaissance artists, calligraphers, humanists, and, ultimately, to printers of books.