Master of the French royal mint at Tours, in October 1458 Nicolas Jenson was dispatched by King Charles VII to Mainz, Germany, to learn the new art of printing. By the time of Charles’ death in 1461, Jenson had still not returned. He left Mainz the following year, when the city was sacked, quite possibly with Sweynheim and Pannartz. It is suggested that Jenson did not wish to return to a France under the new king, Louis XI. These three were the first to introduce the invention of printing to Italy.
Jenson arrived in Venice around 1467, printing and publishing there from 1470 to 1480. His types, based on the upright calligraphic styles of the time, are regarded as among the very best of the Renaissance, indeed of all time.
Modern revivals, which are usually categorized as Venetian, include:
William Morris’s Golden Type (1890), cut by Edward Prince;
Cobden-Sanderson’s Doves Press type (1900), also by Prince;
Bruce Rogers’ Centaur (1914);
Morris Fuller Benton’s Cloister Old Style;
and much more recently Robert Slimbach’s Adobe Jenson.