March 07, 2018
Smooth flowing lines with swooping curves- it’s a wonder how simple writing can become the art of calligraphy when it’s mixed with creativity and is done skillfully. Calligraphy is considered a major art form in Eastern Asia and the Middle East. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts on the art of writing:
1. The English word “Calligraphy” is derived from the Greek words Kallos (which means Beauty) and Graphein (which means To Write).
2. In the Middle East and East Asia, Calligraphy is highly regarded as a form of art, even superior to any other art form such as painting and sculpture. In China, it was during the Jin and Tang Dynasties when calligraphy reached its height.
3. In Western Culture, with the proliferation of literacy and usage of alphabets derived from Greek and Latin, calligraphy became a popular art form. However, it was only in the 15th century when printing was introduced in Europe that a clear distinction was drawn between simple handwriting and other elaborate forms of writing.
4. It was only at the end of the 16th century that new words that meant “calligraphy” were introduced in European languages. The word “Calligraphy” was introduced in the English language in 1613.
5. In the 19th century, printing and handwriting started to influence each other. For instance, advertising began to incorporate calligraphy as the calligraphers designed typefaces that were used for printing.
6. In East Asia, calligraphers usually used Ink Brush for calligraphy. The body of the brush is made using bamboo or other materials such as ivory, silver, red sandalwood, jade, or spotted bamboo. The hairs of the brush were made from hairs from the Siberian weasel, mouse, wolf, pig, goat, fowl, and even human hair.
7. In the 19th century, Dip Pens appeared. It was similar to a Quill (pen made of flight feather) but has a metal nib and a handle. Dip pens need to be dipped in the inkpot. These were mainly used for calligraphy and illustration.
8. Calligraphy in East Asia demonstrated five styles. These were:• Seal Style: mainly used in signature stamps and engraved seals• Clerical Style: This was written on bamboo strips or wood with a brush• Standard Style: This was used to teach children in primary schools• Running Style: The strokes in this style are condensed for ease of writing• Cursive Style: This brought drama and individuality to writing. This was one of the most flamboyant styles.
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