Arrighi’s Operina

Ao_1"La Operina is a slim volume of 32 pages. It teaches italic handwriting and is
still essential reading. Each page was printed from a separate woodcut by Ugo da
Carpi, who is best known as a master of chiaroscuro engraving. The book is dated
1522, but probably published in 1524, as AS Osley suggests in Scribes and
Sources (Faber and Faber, London 1980.)

The author was a copyist, papal
scribe, publisher and type designer. He called himself Ludovico Vicentino, and
wrote the name eight times into his short text. Yet we know him as Arrighi, a
name that appears nowhere in the book."

   La Operina shows great handwriting on every page. It is more than a
set of model sheets, however. It describes Arrighi’s underlying forms and two
basic entry movements. It covers the spacing of lines, words and letters. It
deals with slant and joins.
Gunnlaugur SE Briem
All rights reserved. Updated 01 May
2003

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