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What is italic?
Seven examples


Easy, natural
This is renaissance italic, in my opinion, at its best.

From Suetonius: Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Latin 5814.

Handwriting at a high point

Bartolomeo Sanvito (1435–1518+) of Padua

I talic developed the same way as many other styles of writing. At the outset it was fast and vigorous. In time, it became a mannerist style for books and prestigious documents. At that point it was hardly suited to ordinary writing anymore.

To me, the perfect blend was reached at turn of the sixteenth century. Most of the letters had found their proper form. They still had plenty of energy. The man struck a fine balance.

To read up on Bartolomeo Sanvito, see James Wardrop’s Script of Humanism, Oxford 1963.