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The History of Calligraphy

  • 200

    First through Third Century

    First through Third Century
    First through Third Centuries:
    -All calligraphy traces its roots to the Early Romans
    -3 major fonts of the first three centuries 1.) Half Uncial: quikly penend cursive script; used for intellectual correspondence 2.) Rustic Capitals: more formal style; used for official documents 3.) Imperial Capitals: used for carving of stone monuments
  • 300

    Fourth Century

    Fourth Century
    -Christian Church begins to rise in fourth century
    -Monasteries needed specific fonts to create manuscripts
    -Typically favored Uncial script, which was a modification of Half Uncial
  • 400

    Fifth Century

    Fifth Century
    -2 major fonts at the beginning of century
    -Both Manuscule fonts (pen lifted several times for each letter) 1.) Square Capitals: used for epigraphic inscriptions 2.) Rustic Capitals: began to be used as a book script -Manuscule scripts difficult to write; easier script needed for daily correspondence 1.) Old Roman Cursive: used among commoners 2.) Cursive Half Uncial: used among intellectuals -Roman Empire fell apart at the end of the fifth century and calligraphy decreased
  • 500

    Sixth through Eleventh Centuries

    Sixth through Eleventh Centuries
    -Christian Church helped keep Calligraphy alive after fall of Romans
    -New scripts primarily based upon New Roman Cursive and Cursive Half Uncial 1.) Insular Half Uncial and Insular Cursive Minuscule form in Ireland
    2.) Visigothic Script in Spain
    3.) Merovingian Script in France -Empire of Charlemagne, standardization of fonts occurred 1.) Caroline Manuscript: used in book production
    2.) Protogothic: easier version of Caroline Manuscript
  • Jan 1, 698

    Lindisfarne Gospels

    Lindisfarne Gospels
    -One of the finest examples of Irish calligraphy
  • Jan 1, 800

    Book of Kells

    Book of Kells
    -Another flawless example of Irish calligraphy
    -Now housed in Dublin University
  • Jan 1, 1100

    Twelfth Century

    Twelfth Century
    -Christian scriptoriums give way to private Universities as centers of book production
    -Faster fonts needed to facilitate book production
    -So many new fonts formed they became known, jointly, as the Bastard Fonts 1.) English Cursive
    2.) Humanist: last major script before the creation of printers
  • Jan 1, 1455

    First Printer

    First Printer
    -Created by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany
    -Printers began to spread throughout Europe by early 1500s
    -Originally tried to imitate popular written fonts as closely as possible
    -Standard fonts eventually became modified Humanist and Gothic fonts
    -Printers took over book production, displacing calligraphers
    -Calligraphers instead began designing type faces, creating the field of Typography
  • Revival

    Revival
    -Industrial Revolution led to desire for a return to simpler things
    -Calligraphic revival began when poet William Morris utilizd Humanist script in his manuscripts
    -Central School of the Arts began to offer calligraphy as a class
    -Edward Johnston (professor) credited with rediscovering "the lost art of writing"
    -published "Writing and Illuminating and Lettering" in 1906
    -Revival encouraged use of calligraphy in every day things such as wedding invitations
  • Society of Scribes and Illuminators

    Society of Scribes and Illuminators
    -biggest calligraphic group in the world
    -sstill exists
    -attributes revival to three factors:
    -teaching of calligraphy in art schools
    -use of calligraphy in public exhibitions
    -production of societies, handbooks, and journals