Art is the application of human creative skill and imagination in the production of objects intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.
Since time immemorial human beings have been expressing themselves through decorative handwriting or lettering with pen and brush. The lettering were either thick or thin lines depending on the direction of the stroke. This art of creating artistic lettering was called calligraphy.
Calligraphy is believed to have started with the ancient story telling pictographs drawn on the walls of caves.
Calligraphy has been defined as beautiful writing and it derives its roots in the Greek language KALLI means beautiful and GRAPHIA means writing.
Before the invention of printing in the fifteenth century, books were handwritten by scribes on materials such as vellum or parchment and they used quill which served as pens
Different Types of Calligraphy
Calligraphy developed in many parts of the world in different times. These are broadly classified as
1) WESTERN CALLIGRAPHY.
This is the art of writing as practiced in the western world and they use Latin and Greek alphabet. Romans began using this script as they replaced heavy rolls of papyrus scrolls and reed pens with the first books made from animal skin which were simply folded pages of parchment and quill pens. The Romans learned their writing skills from the Greeks. The roman book hand had two distinct styles of writing known as the uncial and the half uncial (inch in Latin).
It is through the church that that written language was preserved because Christian churches promoted the copying of the Bible.
Western calligraphy follows geometric pattern rules and has some special features such as the illumination of the first letter of each chapter or book.
2) EASTERN ASIAN CALLIGRAPHY
This tradition of calligraphy developed in China and also used in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The shape, size, brush, density of the ink and quality of paper is what determines the kind of calligraphic work to be produced.
3) SOUTHERN ASIAN CALLIGRAPHY
This type of calligraphy was mostly used by the Indian, Nepalese and the Tibetan. The Indian calligraphy was used during the reign of King Asoka when inscriptions were curved in stones .The Nepalese calligraphy was used for many Buddhist texts while the Tibetan was widely used for all religious and secular writings.
In southern Asian calligraphy the inscriptions were carried out in burnt clay, copper, birch bark and smoke treated palm leaves, the leave was an excellent surface for pen writing, making possible for the delicate lettering used in many of the scripts.
4) ISLAMIC CALLIGRAPHY.
The calligraphy evolved landside Islam and Arabic language as it is based in Arabic calligraphy. The Islamic art follows geometric patterns and are mostly used in mosques. The Quran has also played a significant role in the development and evolution of Islamic calligraphy.
Modern calligraphy continues to gain popularity in the forms of wedding and event invitations, religious art, memorial documents and original hand lettered logos among others. It ranges from functional inscriptions and design to fine art pieces. Many people crave for r handmade work such as calligraphy because of the uniqueness which mechanically reproduced work lack.
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