Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
Paperblanks Ventaglio Rosso Kraft softcover notebook displays a quartered rose window surrounded by a filigree fan of Eastern influence. This Flexi book reproduces gilt-work melting over red Moroccan leather, making this kraft paper–covered journal an ideal place to preserve inspired contemplations.
The gold-tooled red goatskin book cover that has inspired our Ventaglio Rosso design is a classic example of “a ventaglio” (fan) binding. This technique, popular in Italy beginning from the middle of the fifteenth century, suggests a fusion between the Roman-Gothic elements of the time with Arab “mudejar” art. The geometric compositions, circles, diamonds, crosstrees and knots of this latter style have been created in the gold foiled decorative motif so popular in Italy during this artistic period.
By the end of the sixteenth century such decorations were so popular that the classic frames and negative spaces of Renaissance bindings were almost entirely replaced with this all-covering decoration. It wasn’t until the seventeenth century, from when this Roman binding originates, that the a ventaglio style was fully incorporated as a key element of Baroque artwork. The Baroque period is characterized by passion and grandeur, and the exuberance of the time is nicely tempered with the classical a ventaglio elements used to great effect here. One can see the Eastern influence in the corner filigreed fan which surrounds a quartered rose window.
A few years ago we visited the Restoration Workshop at the Biblioteca Trivulziana in Milan, Italy. We marvelled at the nearly 1500 antique manuscripts that found their home at the library and enjoyed an exhibit curated by famed bookbinder Federico Macchi celebrating six centuries of European bindings. This particular binding, a cover design for Pierre Vidoué Paris’ Horae beatea Virginis Mariae, stood out and we knew it would make a fabulous addition to our Paperblanks collection. The name “Rosso,” meaning “red” in Italian, highlights the sumptuous background colour of the binding and pays tribute to our trip to Italy that led to its discovery.