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|Subject: the art of stylish writing :) Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:46 pm|| |
[the art of beautiful and precise handwriting. The history of calligraphy is linked with the stylistic evolution of art and with the history of script and writing instruments (the reed pen, or qalam, used in ancient Greece and Rome, also used by Oriental peoples during the medieval period; the quill pen, used in Europe through the first half of the 19th century; and the brush, used in Far Eastern countries). Calligraphers strive not only to provide ease in reading but also to endow handwriting with emotional graphic expressiveness.
Calligraphy tends to be either clear outlines that can be read from a distance; expressive, cursive italic script; or ornamental patterns that, at times, impede readability.
In China and other Far Eastern countries, calligraphy was highly valued as an art that communicated emotional and symbolic meanings through graphic signs. These signs do not only communicate the meaning of the word but also embody the thoughts and feelings of the artist. As a result, the calligraphy of China, Korea, and Japan is characterized by rhythmic freedom and vividly expressive brushwork. Well-known Chinese calligraphers include Wang Hsi-chih (fourth century), Hsiian-tsung (eighth century), and Mi Fei (11th century).
In Islamic countries, where the pictorial arts were limited, calligraphy became extremely ornamental and rhythmic; geometric and floral designs were often combined with figurative elements. The most notable calligraphers included the masters of neskhi—Ibn Mukla (tenth century), Ibn Bawwab (11th century), and Yaqut Mustasimi (13th century), in Baghdad—as well as the masters of nastaliq—Mir Ali Tabrizi (14th century), Sultan Ali Mesh-khedi (15th century), and Mir Ali Harawi, Shah Mahmud Ni-shapuri, and Ahmad al-Husayni (16th century) in Iran and Middle Asia.
In ancient Greece and Rome, Greek and Latin script was developed; this classical script was characterized by clarity and harmonious proportions. In medieval Europe scriptoria were the calligraphic centers. During this period, the classical regularity of Carolingian calligraphy was replaced by ornamental and fractured Gothic script. In Russia there are outstanding examples of calligraphy; the earliest was the Gospel of Ostromir, which was transcribed by Deacon Grigorii in 1057.
Since the 15th century, engravers, scribes, and artists have assumed the leading role in European calligraphy. They created fanciful calligraphic compositions, which subsequently became luxury items. Book printing sharply restricted the use of calligraphy. With the invention of the typewriter, this art basically became a subject of study in elementary schools (penmanship).
Calligraphy is also used as an artistic device in book design, poster art, and commercial graphic art.