John Baskerville’s Virgil

In 1757, John Baskerville published his version of Virgil. Virgil was a poet, and Baskervilles piece was a collection of poetry done in his typeface, Baskerville. The typeface is a transitional type between Old Style and Modern. It is a serif type with delicate thick and thin contrast. This version of Virgil is the first work to be done on partly on wove paper. Wove paper was invented by Baskerville, it is a smoother, whiter, glossy paper. Producing Virgil took about three years because of all the improvements Baskerville wanted to make. Along with the wove paper he also created a new ink that was a true black. He perfected his printing process by putting less pressure on the plate to get the perfect kiss impression. This perfected printing method and materials is what makes Virgil so beautiful. This style of print is signature of Baskerville and set him apart from other printers which is also why his work is so famous. This piece launched Baskerville’s career once the people of Europe saw this magnificent piece. This piece was so significant for Baskerville’s career that there is a memorial for Baskerville outside Baskerville house in Centenary Square that spells out Virgil in his typeface.


Works Cited

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No. 1761: John Baskerville,