RUINETTI, Tomaso.. Idea del buon scrittore, opera prima di Tomaso Ruinetti da Ravena a’beneficio de’desiderosi d’imitare le vere forme dello scrivere.

Rome: intagliato da Cristoforo Blanco, 1619., Cristoforo Blanco., 1619

Olong quarto (230 x 320 mm.), 44 engraved plates including engraved title page, potrait of Tommaso Ruinetti and the dedication to Paolo V. A few restioration in the white margins, a few spots, overall a good copy bound in modern brown calf.


First edition of this rare calligraphic masterpiece. ‘Tomaso Ruinetti's Idea del buon scrittore, engraved on copper by Christoforo Blanco in 1619 and published in Rome, is a handsome book which displays the speedy chancery style espoused by Scalino – years earlier. The best piece of writing in the book is the privilege from Paul V. 22 November 1619, written in good conservative cancelleresca corsiva on Cresci's model. The dedication to Cardinal Aldobrandini is in cancelleresca corsiva corrente with flourishes but without loops.The ligature ‘ch' is used only occasionally. The layout is so excellent that it became a model for his followers. Ruinetti's formula was a command of hand border, enclosing a dedication or superscription to an eminent Cardinal, with fast writing of cancelleresca corsiva corrente. The fast writing examples are well exemplified in plate8, whereis shown but he does not become addicted to looping until plate 25, where occurs. His plate 31, Alfabeti del Ruinetti per la S'ra Fontanella exhibits three lines of capitals, swash and inscriptional, and three of lower case; six plates (32-38) provide a conservative cancelleresca corsiva (39), cancelleresca corsiva antica, a capital and a lower-case sloped roman; 40 an upright antica tonda, which is quite tolerable. T book ends with a suite of the Latin capitals in the Sixtus V style'. (S. Morrison, Early Italian writing books … Verona, 1990; pp.140-141)

'Ruinetti was the first of the writing masters to use copper-plate engraving to reproduce not only a variety of scripts (as Hercolani had been first to do in 1574) but also the very elaborate borders showing 'strikings' or 'command of hand'. These calligraphic flourishes already threaten to dominate the page, and later writing masters were to take up this aspect of the copy books with great enthusiasm and virtuosity'. (The Art of Calligraphy, 185.)


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