Printing Petrarch in the Mid-Cinquecento: Giolito, Vellutello and Collaborative Authorship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This article uses the theory of collaborative authorship to evaluate the ways in which multiple authorities operate within the pages of sixteenth-century editions of Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (Rvf) and Triumphi printed by Gabriele Giolito. These authorities include Petrarch as author of the poems, Vellutello as author of the commentary, and the printer-publisher Giolito, whose publishing enterprise creates additional paratexts and frames the project through its visual-material design decisions. I argue that the dynamics of textual design demonstrate that the authority vested in the edition rests on the role played by Giolito, as much as on that of Vellutello or Petrarch. The making of a text-object is a collective enterprise that encourages us to look beyond the figures of canonical individuals and attribute creative agency to aspects of the publishing industry which are often less visible to the critical gaze.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-40
Number of pages21
JournalItalian Studies
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2020

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Material Texts


  • Petrarch
  • Vellutello
  • Giolito
  • collaborative authorship
  • paratext
  • page design

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