To avoid making the textura--Carolingian issue too academic without
visual excerpts, I've put copies of these to the PPL file section.
They come in this order:
(gratia) Carolingian minuscule developed by Alcuin of York, abbot at
Tour. Scolar and a kind of minister of culture at the Charlemagne
court. The example originate from c. 870 by Amaler in Metz, in the
youth pupil to Alcuin. A beautiful hand.
(stameti) Textura type from a Missale, printed in Nürnberg 1491.
(claris) Textura from a titlepage, woodcut 1497. (x-height 17 mm)
(anime) Humanistic minuscule written in Bologna 1500. The step from
the Carolingian miniscule is not far. The humanists in northern Italy
and Petrarca in particular, were looking for a script better suitable
for the their new literature. The black rotunda associated to
liturgical and juridical matters. Humanism and renaissance wanted to
recapture its cultural heritage and to look to the human being as
itself and not as he/she should be to fit into the divine plan. They
found the Carolingian miniscule in the belief it was the old Roman
script -- lettera antica. Lucky us!
We should have in mind Jenson and Griffo already set the standard for
the printed roman type before this example was written, but though
representative for the humanistic minuscule. Earlier h.m. could be
less refined and with long ascenders and descenders.
> Alcuin's script is much faster to write than the textura, as any
> calligrapher can attest. The degradation, not evolution, of
> Carolingian turned to heavier and more vertical strokes over the
> course of four centuries, which, as they are written with a wider
> pen and more distinct changes of direction, require more, not less,
> time per letter.
Yes, agree with you Peter.
> The motive, as I mentioned, was not speed, but density. The
> Caroline page, as you know, was a model of elegance and open space.
> With vellum as expensive as ever, the scribes felt pressure to
> squeeze the space out.
> Yes, density was an important criteria but most of the information out
> there portrays the historical Carolingian as being a more difficult
> letterform in regard to speed of writing compared to the historical
> textura. It may not seem so to present day practitioners but that does
> seem to be the general consensus. See the following link as an example
Read the source you refered to Gerald, now I understand your point of
view. The article mention protogothic script which can be written as
easy as the Carolingian minuscule, but not faster! The protogothic
is less broken than textura and not that tight. The number of strokes
seems to be the same. Haven't tested though. Protogothic has
remembrance of the latin variant rotunda.
> [. . . ] And records show that contrary to popular myth,
> Gutenberg was neither a goldsmith nor a member of the guild, though he
> was associated with the Mint through his social status.
There are no secure evidence of who cut what in the G. shop. Maybe
both G. and Schoeffer cut punches. Made some minor research:
Because of political conflicts in Mainz G. was forced to leave for
Strassburg (1428-30) where the family had old connections. His
official profession at the time was goldsmith, he had pupils learning
how to cut precious stones. G. had a company with secret work, but
typographical for sure, he held "chases and all kind of tools" (i.e.
metal types). He paid a turner for making a printing press and
employed a goldsmith who made "what goes with the printing" ("das zu
dem trucken gehoeret"). These facts rest on lawsuit documents. No
prints has been found or can be attributed to G. from his stay here.
G. returns to Mainz 1448. His prospective cooperator Schoeffer is
still working as calligrapher at Sorbonne university (1449) according
to Kapr. In 1456 was Schoeffer involved in the production of the 42-
lined bible. We'll find the most delicate textura in Psalterium which
we ought to give him credit for.