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{{Redirect|Calligrapher|the novel|The Calligrapher}}{{further|Handwriting|Script typeface}}{{Calligraphy}}{{multiple image|perrow = 2|total_width=400
width1=300|height1=width2=300|height2=| image3 = Nassar Mansour. "This day let no reproach be (cast) on you…" Surah 12 (Yusuf), verse 92.jpgheight3=| image4 = Malnazar - Decorated Incipit Page - Google Art Project.jpgheight4=width5=300|height5=width6=300|height6=width7=300|height7=400width8=300|height8=400| footer = Various examples of calligraphy in different languages throughout history}}Calligraphy (from Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, or other writing instruments.{{rp|17}} A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner".{{rp|18}}Modern calligraphy ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the letters may or may not be readable.{{page needed|date=August 2016}} Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may practice both.BOOK, Pott, G., 2006, Kalligrafie: Intensiv Training, Calligraphy: Intensive Training, Verlag Hermann Schmidt, 978-3-87439-700-1, de, BOOK, Pott, G., 2005, Kalligrafie: Erste Hilfe und Schrift-Training mit Muster-Alphabeten, Verlag Hermann Schmidt, 978-3-87439-675-2, de, BOOK, Zapf, H., 2007, Alphabet Stories: A Chronicle of technical developments, Cary Graphic Arts Press, Rochester, NY, 978-1-933360-22-5, BOOK, Zapf, H., 2006, The world of Alphabets: A kaleidoscope of drawings and letterforms, CD-ROMCalligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding invitations and event invitations, font design and typography, original hand-lettered logo design, religious art, announcements, graphic design and commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions, and memorial documents. It is also used for props and moving images for film and television, and also for testimonials, birth and death certificates, maps, and other written works.BOOK, Propfe, J., 2005, SchreibKunstRaume: Kalligraphie im Raum Verlag, Callwey Verlag, Munich, 978-3-7667-1630-9, de, BOOK, Geddes, A., Dion, C., 2004, Miracle: a celebration of new life, Photogenique Publishers, Auckland, 978-0-7407-4696-3,


File:Pointed pen parts.svg|thumb|left|A calligraphic nib, with part names.]]The principal tools for a calligrapher are the pen and the brush. Calligraphy pens write with nibs that may be flat, round, or pointed.BOOK, Reaves, M., Schulte, E., 2006, Brush Lettering: An instructional manual in Western brush calligraphy, Revised, Design Books, New York, BOOK, Child, H., 1985, The Calligrapher's Handbook, Taplinger Publishing Co., BOOK, Lamb, C.M., 1956, Calligrapher's Handbook, Pentalic, 1976, For some decorative purposes, multi-nibbed pens—steel brushes—can be used. However, works have also been created with felt-tip and ballpoint pens, although these works do not employ angled lines. There are some styles of calligraphy, such as Gothic script, that require a stub nib pen.Writing ink is usually water-based and is much less viscous than the oil-based inks used in printing. High quality paper, which has good consistency of absorption,{{clarify|date=October 2013}} enables cleaner lines,WEB,weblink Paper Properties in Arabic calligraphy,, 2007-06-01, although parchment or vellum is often used, as a knife can be used to erase imperfections and a light-box is not needed to allow lines to pass through it. Normally, light boxes and templates are used to achieve straight lines without pencil markings detracting from the work. Ruled paper, either for a light box or direct use, is most often ruled every quarter or half inch, although inch spaces are occasionally used. This is the case with litterea unciales (hence the name), and college-ruled paper often acts as a guideline well.WEB,weblink Calligraphy Islamic website,, 2012-06-18,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-06-08, yes, Common calligraphy pens and brushes are:

World traditions



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Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels (c.700) contains the incipit from the Gospel of Matthew.British Library, London.
Western calligraphy is recognizable by the use of the Latin script. The Latin alphabet appeared about 600 BC, in Rome, and by the first century{{Clarify|date=January 2011}} developed into Roman imperial capitals carved on stones, Rustic capitals painted on walls, and Roman cursive for daily use. In the second and third centuries the uncial lettering style developed. As writing withdrew to monasteries, uncial script was found more suitable for copying the Bible and other religious texts. It was the monasteries which preserved calligraphic traditions during the fourth and fifth centuries, when the Roman Empire fell and Europe entered the Dark Ages.BOOK, Sabard, V., Geneslay, V., Rébéna, L., Calligraphie latine: Initiation, 7th, 2004, 8–11, 978-2-215-02130-8, Latin calligraphy: Introduction, fr, At the height of the Empire, its power reached as far as Great Britain; when the empire fell, its literary influence remained. The Semi-uncial generated the Irish Semi-uncial, the small Anglo-Saxon.Insular Manuscripts: Paleography Section 6: Language on the Page in Insular Manuscripts Layout and Legibility. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2018, fromweblink Each region developed its own standards following the main monastery of the region (i.e. Merovingian script, Laon script, Luxeuil script, Visigothic script, Beneventan script), which are mostly cursive and hardly readable.
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Calligraphy in a Latin Bible of 1407 on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. This Bible was hand-written in Belgium, by Gerard Brils, for reading aloud in a monastery.
Christian churches promoted the development of writing through the prolific copying of the Bible, the Breviary, and other sacred Hamel 2001a Two distinct styles of writing known as uncial and half-uncial (from the Latin "uncia", or "inch") developed from a variety of Roman bookhands.Knight 1998: 10 The 7th–9th centuries in northern Europe were the heyday of Celtic illuminated manuscripts, such as the Book of Durrow, Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells.Trinity College Library Dublin 2006; Walther & Wolf 2005; Brown & Lovett 1999: 40; Backhouse 1981Charlemagne's devotion to improved scholarship resulted in the recruiting of "a crowd of scribes", according to Alcuin, the Abbot of York.Jackson 1981: 64 Alcuin developed the style known as the Caroline or Carolingian minuscule. The first manuscript in this hand was the Godescalc Evangelistary (finished 783)—a Gospel book written by the scribe Godescalc.Walther & Wolf 2005; de Hamel 1994: 46–48 Carolingian remains the one progenitor hand from which modern booktype Hamel 1994: 46In the eleventh century, the Caroline evolved into the Gothic script, which was more compact and made it possible to fit more text on a page.BOOK, Lovett, Patricia, Calligraphy and Illumination: A History and Practical Guide, Harry N. Abrams, 2000, 978-0-8109-4119-9, {{rp|72}} The Gothic calligraphy styles became dominant throughout Europe; and in 1454, when Johannes Gutenberg developed the first printing press in Mainz, Germany, he adopted the Gothic style, making it the first typeface.{{rp|141}}File:მარიამისეული ქართლის ცხოვრება.JPG|thumb|The Georgian calligraphy is centuries-old tradition of an artistic writing of the Georgian language with its three scripts.]]In the 15th century, the rediscovery of old Carolingian texts encouraged the creation of the humanist minuscule or littera antiqua. The 17th century saw the Batarde script from France, and the 18th century saw the English script spread across Europe and world through their books.In the mid-1600s French officials, flooded with documents written in various hands and varied levels of skill, complained that many such documents were beyond their ability to decipher. The Office of the Financier thereupon restricted all legal documents to three hands, namely the Coulee, the Rhonde, (known as Round hand in English) and a Speed Hand sometimes simply called the Bastarda.BOOK, Joyce Irene Whalley, The Art of Calligraphy, Western Europe & America, c. 1980, While there were many great French masters at the time, the most influential in proposing these hands was Louis Barbedor, who published Les Ecritures Financière Et Italienne Bastarde Dans Leur Naturel circa 1650.With the destruction of the Camera Apostolica during the sack of Rome (1527), the capitol for writing masters moved to Southern France. By 1600, the Italic Cursiva began to be replaced by a technological refinement, the Italic Chancery Circumflessa, which in turn fathered the Rhonde and later English Roundhand.In England, Ayres and Banson popularized the Round Hand while Snell is noted for his reaction to them, and warnings of restraint and proportionality. Still Edward Crocker began publishing his copybooks 40 years before the aforementioned.


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Modern Western calligraphy
Sacred Western calligraphy has some unique features, such as the illumination of the first letter of each book or chapter in medieval times. A decorative "carpet page" may precede the literature, filled with ornate, geometrical depictions of bold-hued animals. The Lindisfarne Gospels (715–720 AD) are an early example.BOOK, Brown, M.P., 2004, Painted Labyrinth: The World of the Lindisfarne Gospel, Revised, British Library, As with Chinese or Islamic calligraphy, Western calligraphic script employed the use of strict rules and shapes. Quality writing had a rhythm and regularity to the letters, with a "geometrical" order of the lines on the page. Each character had, and often still has, a precise stroke order.Unlike a typeface, irregularity in the characters' size, style, and colors increases aesthetic value,{{dubious|date=August 2016}} though the content may be illegible. Many of the themes and variations of today's contemporary Western calligraphy are found in the pages of The Saint John's Bible. A particularly modern example is Timothy Botts' illustrated edition of the Bible, with 360 calligraphic images as well as a calligraphy typeface.BOOK, The Bible: New Living Translation, Tyndale House Publishers, 2000,


Several other Western styles use the same tools and practices, but differ by character set and stylistic preferences.For Slavonic lettering, the history of the Slavonic and consequently Russian writing systems differs fundamentally from the one of the Latin language. It evolved from the 10th century to today.{{anchor|East Asian calligraphy}}

East Asia

The Chinese name for calligraphy is {{transl|zh|ISO|shūfǎ}} ( in Traditional Chinese, literally "the method or law of writing"); (Taiwanese) being here used as in (Cantonese) or (Taiwanese), meaning "writing style".{{clarify|date=October 2013}} the Japanese name {{transl|ja|shodō}} (, literally "the way or principle of writing"); and the Korean name being {{transl|ko|seoye}} (/, literally "the art of writing"). The calligraphy of East Asian characters is an important and appreciated aspect of traditional East Asian culture.


In ancient China, the oldest Chinese characters existing are Jiǎgǔwén characters (甲骨文) carved on ox scapulae and tortoise plastrons, because the dominators in Shang Dynasty carved pits on such animals' bones and then baked them to gain auspice of military affairs, agricultural harvest, or even procreating and weather. During the divination ceremony, after the cracks were made, the characters were written with a brush on the shell or bone to be later carved. (Keightley, 1978). With the development of Jīnwén (Bronzeware script) and Dàzhuàn (Large Seal Script)Categories of Calligraphy – Seal Script. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2018, fromweblink "cursive" signs continued. Mao Gong Ding is one of the most famous and typical Bronzeware scripts in the Chinese calligraphy history. It has 500 characters on the bronze which is the largest number of bronze inscription we have discovered so far.The Bell and Cauldron Inscriptions-A Feast of Chinese Characters: The Origin and Development_Mao Gong Ding. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2018, fromweblink Moreover, each archaic kingdom of current China had its own set of characters.In Imperial China, the graphs on old steles—some dating from 200 BC, and in Xiaozhuan style—are still accessible.About 220 BC, the emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first to conquer the entire Chinese basin, imposed several reforms, among them Li Si's character unification, which created a set of 3300 standardized {{transl|zh|Xiǎozhuàn(小篆)}} characters.BOOK, Fazzioli, Edoardo, Calligraphy by Rebecca Hon Ko, Chinese Calligraphy: From Pictograph to Ideogram: The History Of 214 Essential Chinese/Japanese Characters, Abbeville Publishing Group (Abbeville Press, Inc.), Abbeville Press, New York, 978-0-89659-774-7, 13, And so the first Chinese dictionary was born, the Sān Chāng, containing {{formatnum:3300, characters|year=1987}} Despite the fact that the main writing implement of the time was already the brush, few papers survive from this period, and the main examples of this style are on steles.The Lìshū style (/)(clerical script) which is more regularized, and in some ways similar to modern text, have been also authorised under Qin Shi Huangdi.BOOK, R. B. Blakney, A Course in the Analysis of Chinese Characters,, 2007, 978-1-897367-11-7,weblink 6, Between clerical script and traditional regular script, there is another transition type of calligraphy works called Wei Bei. It had started at the South and North dynasty and ended before Tang Dynasty.Z. (n.d.). Chinese Calligraphy. Retrieved May 30, 2018, fromweblinkKǎishū style (traditional regular script)—still in use today—and attributed to Wang Xizhi (, 303–361) and his followers, is even more regularized. Its spread was encouraged by Emperor Mingzong of Later Tang (926–933), who ordered the printing of the classics using new wooden blocks in Kaishu. Printing technologies here allowed a shape stabilization. The Kaishu shape of characters 1000 years ago was mostly similar to that at the end of Imperial China. But small changes have been made, for example in the shape of which is not absolutely the same in the Kangxi Dictionary of 1716 as in modern books. The Kangxi and current shapes have tiny differences, while stroke order is still the same, according to old style.BOOK, zh:康熙字典, Kangxi Zidian, 1716,weblink 41, zh, . See, for example, the radicals , , or . The 2007 common shape for those characters does not clearly show the stroke order, but old versions, visible on p. 41, clearly allow the stroke order to be determined.Styles which did not survive include Bāfēnshū, a mix made of Xiaozhuan style at 80%, and Lishu at 20%.Some variant Chinese characters were unorthodox or locally used for centuries. They were generally understood but always rejected in official texts. Some of these unorthodox variants, in addition to some newly created characters, compose the Simplified Chinese character set.


File:Mi Fu-On Calligraphy.jpg|thumb|On Calligraphy by Mi Fu, Song DynastySong DynastyTraditional East Asian writing uses the Four Treasures of the Study (/):Li, J. (Ed.). (n.d.). "Four treasures of Study" tour. Retrieved May 30, 2018, fromweblink the ink brushes known as máobǐ (/) to write Chinese characters, Chinese ink, paper, and inkstone, known as the Four Friends of the Study () in Korea. In addition to these four tools, desk pads and paperweights are also used.The shape, size, stretch, and hair type of the ink brush, the color, color density and water density of the ink, as well as the paper's water absorption speed and surface texture are the main physical parameters influencing the final result. The calligrapher's technique also influences the result. The calligrapher's work is influenced by the quantity of ink and water he lets the brush take, then by the pressure, inclination, and direction he gives to the brush, producing thinner or bolder strokes, and smooth or toothed borders. Eventually, the speed, accelerations, decelerations of the writer's moves, turns, and crochets, and the stroke order give the "spirit" to the characters, by greatly influencing their final shapes.


Cursive styles such as {{transl|zh|xíngshū}} (/)(semi-cursive or running script) and {{transl|zh|cǎoshū}} (/)(cursive, rough script, or grass script) are less constrained and faster, where more movements made by the writing implement are visible. These styles' stroke orders vary more, sometimes creating radically different forms. They are descended from Clerical script, in the same time as Regular script (Han Dynasty), but {{transl|zh|xíngshū}} and {{transl|zh|cǎoshū}} were used for personal notes only, and never used as a standard. The {{transl|zh|cǎoshū}} style was highly appreciated in Emperor Wu of Han reign (140–187 AD).Examples of modern printed styles are Song from the Song Dynasty's printing press, and sans-serif. These are not considered traditional styles, and are normally not written.{{Clear}}


{{more citations needed section|date=October 2013}}File:Oura Kanetake peace 1910.jpg|thumb|Japanese calligraphy, the word "peace" and the signature of the Meiji period calligrapher ÅŒura KanetakeÅŒura KanetakeBoth Japanese and Korean calligraphy were greatly influenced by Chinese calligraphy. The Japanese and Korean people have also developed their own specific sensibilities and styles of calligraphy while incorporating Chinese influences. For example, Japanese calligraphy go out of the set of CJK strokes to also include local alphabets such as hiragana and katakana, with specific problematics such as new curves and moves, and specific materials (Japanese paper, {{transl|ja|washi}} , and Japanese ink).BOOK, Suzuki, Yuuko, An introduction to Japanese calligraphy, 2005, Search, Tunbridge Wells, 978-1-84448-057-9, In the case of Korean calligraphy, the Hangeul and the existence of the circle required the creation of a new technique which usually confuses Chinese calligraphers.Temporary calligraphy is a practice of water-only calligraphy on the floor, which dries out within minutes. This practice is especially appreciated by the new generation of retired Chinese in public parks of China. These will often open studio-shops in tourist towns offering traditional Chinese calligraphy to tourists. Other than writing the clients name, they also sell fine brushes as souvenirs and limestone carved stamps.Since late 1980s, a few Chinese artists have branched out traditional Chinese calligraphy to a new territory by mingling Chinese characters with English letters; notable new forms of calligraphy are Xu Bing's square calligraphy and DanNie's coolligraphy or cooligraphy.Calligraphy has influenced ink and wash painting, which is accomplished using similar tools and techniques. Calligraphy has influenced most major art styles in East Asia, including ink and wash painting, a style of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean based entirely on calligraphy.


Mongolian calligraphy is also influenced by Chinese calligraphy, from tools to style.


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A Bön text
Calligraphy is central in Tibetan culture. The script is derived from Indic scripts. The nobles of Tibet, such as the High Lamas and inhabitants of the Potala Palace, were usually capable calligraphers. Tibet has been a center of Buddhism for several centuries, and that religion places a great deal of significance on written word. This does not provide for a large body of secular pieces, although they do exist (but are usually related in some way to Tibetan Buddhism). Almost all high religious writing involved calligraphy, including letters sent by the Dalai Lama and other religious and secular authority. Calligraphy is particularly evident on their prayer wheels, although this calligraphy was forged rather than scribed, much like Arab and Roman calligraphy is often found on buildings. Although originally done with a reed, Tibetan calligraphers now use chisel tipped pens and markers as well.

Southeast Asia


File:Tagbanua musical instrument with inscription of Tagbanua characters.jpg|thumb|right|A musical instrument with Tagbanwa calligraphy ]](File:Illuminated baybayin chart.jpg|thumb|An illuminated baybayin chart in stylish version .)The Philippines has numerous indigenous scripts collectively called as suyat. Various ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century up to the independence era in the 21st century have used the scripts with various mediums. By the end of colonialism, only four of the suyat scripts survived and continue to be used by certain communities in everyday life. These four scripts are Hanunó'o/Hanunoo of the Hanuno'o Mangyan people, Buhid/Buid of the Buhid Mangyan people, Apurahuano/Tagbanwa of the Tagbanwa people, and Palaw'an/Pala'wan of the Palaw'an people. All four scripts were inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, under the name Philippine Paleographs (Hanunoo, Buid, Tagbanua and Pala’wan), in 1999.WEB,weblink Philippine Paleographs (Hanunoo, Buid, Tagbanua and Pala'wan) – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,, File:Bayi, a bamboo bow from Mindoro.jpg|thumb|left|Bow with Hanunó'o calligraphy ]]Due to dissent from colonialism, many artists and cultural experts have revived the usage of suyat scripts that went extinct due to Spanish persecution. These scripts being revived include the Kulitan script of the Kapampangan people, the badlit script of various Visayan ethnic groups, the Iniskaya script of the Eskaya people, the Baybayin script of the Tagalog people, and the Kur-itan script of the Ilocano people, among many others.WEB,weblink 'Educate first': Filipinos react to Baybayin as national writing system, WEB,weblink House panel approves Baybayin as national writing system, 24 April 2018, WEB,weblink 5 things to know about PH's pre-Hispanic writing system, ABS-CBN, News, Due to the diversity of suyat scripts, all calligraphy written in suyat scripts are collectively called as Filipino suyat calligraphy, although each are distinct from each other.WEB,weblink A primer on Baybayin,, WEB,weblink The Baybayin bill and the never ending search for 'Filipino-ness', Calligraphy using the Western alphabet and the Arabic alphabet are also prevalent in the Philippines due to its colonial past, but the Western alphabet and the Arabic alphabet are not considered as suyat, and therefore Western-alphabet and Arabic calligraphy are not considered as suyat calligraphy.WEB,weblink 10 Perfectly Awesome Calligraphers You Need To Check Out, 12 August 2015,, WEB,weblink How to ace in script lettering,,


(File:Samut Khoi 2.jpg|thumb|right|200px|Thai calligraphy)Sanskrit is the primary form of Thai calligraphy. Historically Thai calligraphy has been limited to sacred texts of the Pali Canon with few wider artistic applications where graphic calligraphy representing figures and objects is produced. Calligraphy appears on the personal flag of each member of the Thai royal family bearing its owner's initials in calligraphy. The most obvious place in the country where calligraphy is present is in graffiti. A few books have been published with calligraphic compositions.


File:Tale of Kieu, vol. 24, p.22.jpg|thumb|A page from The Tale of Kieu by Nguyễn DuNguyễn DuThe Vietnamese name for calligraphy is ({{script|Hani|書法}}, literally "the way of letters or words"). Vietnamese calligraphy uses a variety of scripts, including Chinese characters, Chữ nôm, and the Latin-based Quốc Ngữ. Historically, calligraphers used the former two scripts. Due to the adoption of the Latin-based Quốc Ngữ, most modern Vietnamese calligraphy uses Roman characters. Traditional Vietnamese calligraphy is strongly affected by that of China for historical and geographical reasons. Being part of the Chinese sphere of influence, Chinese was often used as the written medium of communication, and as a result, Vietnamese calligraphy thus also follows Chinese calligraphy’s standard and use Han character scripts in many of its writings. In modern times, calligraphy has been done mainly in the Latin-based Quốc Ngữ script, as Chữ nôm and Chinese characters have largely fallen out of use.NEWS, Vietnamese neglect Han-Nom heritage,weblink 18 December 2013, Viet Nam News, 14 February 2012,

South Asia

{{more citations needed section|date=October 2013}}


{{too many quotes|section|date=October 2013}}On the subject of Indian calligraphy, writes:JOURNAL, Anderson, D. M., 2008, Indic calligraphy, Encyclopædia Britannica 2008, .File:Odia calligraphy esabada Odia magazine eodissa.jpg|thumb|A Calligraphic design in Oriya scriptOriya scriptAśoka's edicts (c. 265–238 BC) were committed to stone. These inscriptions are stiff and angular in form. Following the Aśoka style of Indic writing, two new calligraphic types appear: Kharoṣṭī and Brāhmī. Kharoṣṭī was used in the northwestern regions of India from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century of the Christian Era, and it was used in Central Asia until the 8th century.In many parts of ancient India, the inscriptions were carried out in smoke-treated palm leaves. This tradition dates back to over two thousand years.WEB,weblink Memory of the World | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, 2012-06-18,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-10-20, yes, Even after the Indian languages were put on paper in the 13th century, palm leaves where considered a preferred medium of writing owing to its longevity (nearly 400 years) compared to paper. Both sides of the leaves were used for writing. Long rectangular strips were gathered on top of one another, holes were drilled through all the leaves, and the book was held together by string. Books of this manufacture were common to Southeast Asia. The palm leaf was an excellent surface for penwriting, making possible the delicate lettering used in many of the scripts of southern Asia.Burnt clay and copper were a favoured material for Indic inscriptions.{{Citation needed|date=April 2010}} In the north of India, birch bark was used as a writing surface as early as the 2nd century AD.{{Citation needed|date=April 2010}}


Ranjana script is the primary form of Nepalese calligraphy. The script itself, along with its derivatives (like Lantsa, Phagpa, Kutila) are used in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Leh, Mongolia, coastal Japan, and Korea to write "Om mani padme hum" and other sacred Buddhist texts, mainly those derived from Sanskrit and Pali.

Islamic world

File:Basmalah-1wm.svg|left|thumb|The phrase Bismillah in an 18th-century Islamic calligraphy from the Ottoman region.]]Islamic calligraphy (calligraphy in Arabic is {{transl|ar|khatt ul-yad}} {{rtl-lang|ar|خط اليد}}) has evolved alongside Islam and the Arabic language. As it is based on Arabic letters, some call it "Arabic calligraphy". However the term "Islamic calligraphy" is a more appropriate term as it comprises all works of calligraphy by the Muslim calligraphers from Andalusia in modern Spain to China.Islamic calligraphy is associated with geometric Islamic art (arabesque) on the walls and ceilings of mosques as well as on the page. Contemporary artists in the Islamic world draw on the heritage of calligraphy to use calligraphic inscriptions or abstractions.Instead of recalling something related to the spoken word, calligraphy for Muslims is a visible expression of the highest art of all, the art of the spiritual world. Calligraphy has arguably become the most venerated form of Islamic art because it provides a link between the languages of the Muslims with the religion of Islam. The Qur'an has played an important role in the development and evolution of the Arabic language, and by extension, calligraphy in the Arabic alphabet. Proverbs and passages from the Qur'an are still sources for Islamic calligraphy.It is generally accepted that Islamic calligraphy excelled during the Ottoman era.{{By whom|date=December 2016}} Istanbul is an open exhibition hall for all kinds and varieties of calligraphy, from inscriptions in mosques to fountains, schools, houses, etc. {{Clear}}


File:Ethiopian Scroll comprising prayers against various ailments Wellcome L0031387.jpg|thumb|upright|A painting of Susenyos I (r. 1607–1632) on a Ge'ez prayer scroll meant to dispel evil spirits, Wellcome CollectionWellcome CollectionEthiopian (Abyssinian) calligraphy began with the Ge'ez script, which replaced Epigraphic South Arabian in the Kingdom of Aksum, that was developed specifically for Ethiopian Semitic languages. In those languages that use it, such as Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is called {{transl|sem|Fidäl}}, which means script or alphabet. The Epigraphic South Arabian letters were used for a few inscriptions into the 8th century, though not any South Arabian language since Dʿmt.Early inscriptions in Ge'ez and Ge'ez script have been dated to as early as the 5th century BC, and in a sort of proto-Ge'ez written in ESA since the 9th century BC. Ge'ez literature begins with the Christianization of Ethiopia (and the civilization of Axum) in the 4th century, during the reign of Ezana of Axum.The Ge'ez script is read from left to right and has been adapted to write other languages, usually ones that are also Semitic. The most widespread use is for Amharic in Ethiopia and Tigrinya in Eritrea and Ethiopia.


File:Bowl with Kufic Calligraphy, 10th century.jpg|thumbnail|Bowl with Kufic Calligraphy, 10th century. Brooklyn MuseumBrooklyn Museum
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Example showing Nastaliq's proportional rules
The history of calligraphy in Persia dates back to the pre-Islam era. In Zoroastrianism beautiful and clear writings were always praised.It is believed that ancient Persian script was invented by about 600–500 BC to provide monument inscriptions for the Achaemenid kings. These scripts consisted of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal nail-shape letters, which is why it is called "script of nails/cuneiform script" ({{transl|fa|khat-e-mikhi}}) in Persian. Centuries later, other scripts such as "Pahlavi" and "Avestan" scripts were used in ancient Persia.

Contemporary scripts

The Nasta'liq style is the most popular contemporary style among classical Persian calligraphy scripts; Persian calligraphers call it the "bride of calligraphy scripts". This calligraphy style has been based on such a strong structure that it has changed very little since. Mir Ali Tabrizi had found the optimum composition of the letters and graphical rules so it has just been fine-tuned during the past seven centuries. It has very strict rules for graphical shape of the letters and for combination of the letters, words, and composition of the whole calligraphy piece.

Mayan civilization

Mayan calligraphy was expressed via Mayan hieroglyphs; modern Mayan calligraphy is mainly used on seals and monuments in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Mayan hieroglyphs are rarely used in government offices; however in Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, Mayan calligraphy is written in Latin letters.{{clarify|date=August 2016}} Some commercial companies in southern Mexico use Mayan hieroglyphs as symbols of their business. Some community associations and modern Mayan brotherhoods use Mayan hieroglyphs as symbols of their groups.Most of the archaeological sites in Mexico such as Chichen Itza, Labna, Uxmal, Edzna, Calakmul, etc. have glyphs in their structures. Carved stone monuments known as stele are common sources of ancient Mayan calligraphy.

Modern calligraphy


File:Edward Johnston.png|thumb|Edward JohnstonEdward JohnstonAfter printing became ubiquitous from the 15th century, the production of illuminated manuscripts began to Hamel 2001a; de Hamel 1986 However, the rise of printing did not mean the end of calligraphy.Zapf 2007; de Hamel 2001a; Gilderdale 1999; Gray 1971The modern revival of calligraphy began at the end of the 19th century, influenced by the aesthetics and philosophy of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. Edward Johnston is regarded as being the father of modern calligraphy.WEB,weblink The Legacy of Edward Johnston, The Edward Johnston Foundation, Cockerell 1945; Morris 1882WEB, Font Designer — Edward Johnston, Linotype GmbH,weblink 5 November 2007, After studying published copies of manuscripts by architect William Harrison Cowlishaw, he was introduced to William Lethaby in 1898, principal of the Central School of Arts and Crafts, who advised him to study manuscripts at the British Museum.such as the Ramsey Psalter, BL, Harley MS 2904This triggered Johnston's interest in the art of calligraphy with the use of a broad edged pen. He began a teaching course in calligraphy at the Central School in Southampton Row, London from September 1899, where he influenced the typeface designer and sculptor Eric Gill. He was commissioned by Frank Pick to design a new typeface for London Underground, still used today (with minor modifications).The Eric Gill Society: weblink" title="">Associates of the Guild: Edward JohnstonHe has been credited for reviving the art of modern penmanship and lettering single-handedly through his books and teachings – his handbook on the subject, Writing & Illuminating, & Lettering (1906) was particularly influential on a generation of British typographers and calligraphers, including Graily Hewitt, Stanley Morison, Eric Gill, Alfred Fairbank and Anna Simons. Johnston also devised the simply crafted round calligraphic handwriting style, written with a broad pen, known today as the Foundational hand. Johnston initially taught his students an uncial hand using a flat pen angle, but later taught his hand using a slanted pen angle.Gilderdale 1999 He first referred to this hand as "Foundational Hand" in his 1909 publication, Manuscript & Inscription Letters for Schools and Classes and for the Use of Craftsmen.Baines & Dixon 2003: 81

Subsequent developments

Graily Hewitt taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and published together with Johnston throughout the early part of the century. Hewitt was central to the revival of gilding in calligraphy, and his prolific output on type design also appeared between 1915 and 1943. He is attributed with the revival of gilding with gesso and gold leaf on vellum. Hewitt helped to found the Society of Scribes & Illuminators (SSI) in 1921, probably the world's foremost calligraphy society.File:Graily Hewitt.JPG|thumb|left|An example of Graily HewittGraily HewittHewitt is not without both criticsTresser 2006 and supportersWhitley 2000: 90 in his rendering of Cennino Cennini's medieval gesso recipes.Herringham 1899 Donald Jackson, a British calligrapher, has sourced his gesso recipes from earlier centuries a number of which are not presently in English translation.Jackson 1981: 81 Graily Hewitt created the patent announcing the award to Prince Philip of the title of Duke of Edinburgh on November 19, 1947, the day before his marriage to Queen Elizabeth.Hewitt 1944-1953Johnston’s pupil, Anna Simons, was instrumental in sparking off interest in calligraphy in Germany with her German translation of Writing and Illuminating, and Lettering in 1910. Austrian Rudolf Larisch, a teacher of lettering at the Vienna School of Art, published six lettering books that greatly influenced German-speaking calligraphers. Because German-speaking countries had not abandoned the Gothic hand in printing, Gothic also had a powerful effect on their styles.Rudolf Koch was a friend and younger contemporary of Larisch. Koch's books, type designs, and teaching made him one of the most influential calligraphers of the 20th century in northern Europe and later in the U.S. Larisch and Koch taught and inspired many European calligraphers, notably Karlgeorg Hoefer, and Hermann Zapf.Cinamon 2001; Kapr 1991Contemporary typefaces used by computers, from word processors like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages to professional designers' software like Adobe InDesign, owe a considerable debt to the past and to a small number of professional typeface designers today.BOOK, Mediaville, Claude, Calligraphy: From Calligraphy to Abstract Painting, 1996, Scirpus-Publications, Belgium, 978-90-803325-1-5, BOOK, Henning, W.E., 2002, An Elegant Hand: The Golden Age of American Penmanship and Calligraphy, Melzer, P., Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, Delaware, 978-1-58456-067-8, Unicode provides "Script" and "Fraktur" Latin alphabets that can be used for calligraphy. See Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols.

See also




  • Oscar Ogg (1954), Three classics of Italian Calligraphy, an unabridged reissue of the writing books of Arrighi, Tagliente & Palatino, with an introduction, Dover publications inc. New York, USA
  • BOOK, Diringer, D., Diringer, D., 1968, The Alphabet: A Key to the History of Mankind, 3rd, 1, Hutchinson & Co., London, 441,
  • Fairbank, Alfred, (1975). Augustino Da Siena, the 1568 edition of his writing book in fascimile, David R. Godine (Boston) & The Merrion Press, (London), {{ISBN|0-87923-128-9}}
  • BOOK, Fraser, M., Kwiatowski, W., 2006, Ink and Gold: Islamic Calligraphy, Sam Fogg Ltd., London,
  • Gaze, T. & Jacobson, M. (editors), (2013). An Anthology Of Asemic Handwriting. Uitgeverij. {{ISBN|978-90-817091-7-0}}
  • BOOK, Edward Johnston, Johnston, E., 1909, Manuscript & Inscription Letters: For schools and classes and for the use of craftsmen, Plate 6, San Vito Press & Double Elephant Press, 10th Impression
  • Marns, F.A (2002) Various, copperplate and form, London
  • BOOK, Mediavilla, Claude, Histoire de la calligraphie française, 2006, Michel, Paris, 978-2-226-17283-9, harv, fr,
  • BOOK, Margaret, Shepherd, Learn World Calligraphy: Discover African, Arabic, Chinese, Ethiopic, Greek, Hebrew, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Russian, Thai, Tibetan Calligraphy, and Beyond, Crown Publishing Group, 2013, 978-0-8230-8230-8, 192,
  • Annemarie Schimmel, BOOK, New York University Press, 978-0-8147-7830-2, Calligraphy and Islamic Culture, 1984,
  • Wolfgang Kosack: Islamische Schriftkunst des Kufischen Geometrisches Kufi in 593 Schriftbeispielen. Deutsch – Kufi – Arabisch. 380 Seiten. Verlag Christoph Brunner, Basel 2014, {{ISBN|978-3-906206-10-3}}.

External links

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