History of Calligraphy and Its Relation to the Arts
Calligraphy is a form of hand-writing that has been practiced for many centuries in different cultures around the world. It developed as an art and as a means of recording information in ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians and Chinese.It has since evolved as a discipline of its own. Whilst modern calligraphy has abandoned the ornate scripts used in earlier times to make beautiful writings, it also now encompasses digital lettering programs so that words can be printed on paper without the need for an artist’s hand.
Calligraphy is probably one of the oldest forms of visual expression. The use of letters to write words dates back to at least 3300 BC in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). However, calligraphic practices are believed to have originated much earlier than this. The first known examples of writing were found in Sumerian cities around 4000 BC. At this time, cuneiform — a wedge-shaped system of writing — was used by scribes who wrote on clay tablets with ink made from crushed reeds or animal urine. This system was later developed into Akkadian Cuneiform which gained popularity throughout Mesopotamia and became the basis for all future written languages there after including Old Assyrian (3000 BC), Old Babylonian (1800 BC) and Neo-Babylonian (600 BC).
History of Calligraphy in India
The ancient Vedic texts such as the Rig Veda and the Atharva Veda are often noted for their calligraphic qualities. The earliest Indian scripts are Vedic Brahmi and Gupta scripts, both of which are derived from the ancient Indian scripts of the Middle and New Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt. The basic principle of the Vedic scripts was that only the consonants, and later the vowels, were made use of for writing. The rest of the symbols were derived from the natural sounds of the human voice and thus were called “sibilants”. The use of the sibilants, however, led to a number of complications.
In the early Vedic period (c. 1500-1000 BC), a new script was developed which was called “Prakrits”. This script used only consonants and was suitable for expressing poetry and stories. As the Hindu religion grew in popularity, the script was modified to represent the Sanskrit language. The development of the new script was a gradual process and the various modifications over time led to the evolution of the Devanagari script. By the beginning of the common era, the Devanagari script had become the official script used by the Indian government and private sector.
Calligraphy in Japan
Japanese calligraphy is derived from Chinese calligraphy and flourished in Japanese Buddhism and Japanese Waka poetry. Buddhist monks used Chinese calligraphy to transcribe the scriptures of Buddhism and Buddhist scriptures in Chinese characters were used for writing Japanese classical poetry.
Methods of calligraphy used in Buddhism were to use white ink for conveying positive thoughts and red ink for negative ones.
Chinese calligraphy was imported to Japan in the Nara Period (710-794 AD) and this eventually led to the development of Japanese calligraphy. During the Heian (794-1185 AD) and Kamakura (1185-1333 AD) periods, various schools of Japanese calligraphy developed based on the Chinese model.
The Art of Calligraphy in the Middle East
The art of calligraphy has a long and complex tradition in the Middle East. While the Egyptians are known for their hieroglyphic writings and the Greeks for their ancient epigraphic scripts, the Middle Eastern scripts come from the Aramaic and Arabic traditions of the region. The Arabic script is said to be derived from the Aramaic script and was used for writing in the regions of Arabia, Mesopotamia and Syria. The Aramaic script was used for writing in the regions of Armenia, Assyria, North Africa and the Middle East.
Although the art of calligraphy existed even in the ancient times, it was not until the Islamic period (622-1500) that the art became a form of mainstream visual expression. Calligraphy was used as a form of decoration and was also employed in the creation of legal documents, books and manuscripts. The calligraphic styles found in the Middle East were heavily influenced by the Islamic faith and culture.
Calligraphy in China
Calligraphy in China is derived from the art of writing found in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Many of the Chinese characters are derived from the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and Sumerian cuneiform scripts.
The art of calligraphy in China flourished during the Western Han period (206 BC - 9 AD) and the Eastern Han period (25-220 AD). During this period, calligraphy was considered to be an integral part of Confucianism and thus was taught in the schools.
Although the use of calligraphy in China declined during the Sui (581-636 AD) and the Tang (618-907 AD) dynasties, it regained popularity during the Song (960-1279 AD) and Yuan (1271-1368 AD) periods. During the Song and Yuan dynasties, the Chinese government was eager to promote learning and the arts, and they therefore established a number of schools and academies to foster the study of calligraphy.
One of the first written languages in the world, Sumerian was used extensively in Mesopotamia around 3300 BC. This stylized writing system was derived from the Akkadian Cuneiform and was used to record information on clay tablets. The Sumerians also invented the cuneiform, a wedge-shaped system of writing using the wedge-shaped stylus to inscribe the clay tablets. The advantage of this writing system was that it could be read in the dark, which made it ideal for keeping important information secret. However, because the script was wedge-shaped, Sumerian was also very difficult to write.
Ancient Egyptian Calligraphy
As well as developing the earliest form of written language, the Egyptians were well known for their sophisticated art and architecture. In particular, thet were masters of building and preserving large structures, such as pyramids and temples, as well as more mundane structures such as houses and roads. The Egyptians were also skilled in creating statues and paintings, and were masters at producing exact copies of objects. This was made possible by the precise measurements and designs of the hieroglyphs, the earliest form of writing. The Egyptians created the most magnificent works of art, and they were also the most meticulous scribes of all time.
Neo-Babylonian calligraphy was a development of Akkadian Cuneiform and used wedge-shaped scripts similar to that of Nabatean calligraphy. It was also developed in Mesopotamia and was used for writing on clay tablets. Unlike the earlier Mesopotamian calligraphic styles, Neo-Babylonian calligraphy was more decorative than practical.
Evolution of Calligraphy and Its Relation to the Arts
Calligraphy is one of the oldest forms of visual expression known to mankind. It has been an essential part of many cultures, both ancient and modern. Modern calligraphy differs from the practice in ancient times in that it is not done by hand but rather by machine. Calligraphy has also evolved in its application to the arts and design fields.
Calligraphy is used to express written words and thoughts and can be used to create visuals that are aesthetically pleasing. Modern calligraphy also depends on the use of fonts, typefaces and other design elements to create visually appealing compositions of words, phrases and images.
Calligraphy is a form of design that has been developed as an art form for more than two thousand years. It is also a term for the various techniques used in creating handwritten documents, including paintings, woodcuts, and printing.
Calligraphy is usually traced to the practice of decorating papers, originally on scrolls, with a variety of colored or black inks. The movements of the scribe’s hand across the surface of the paper created the decoration, while the angle of the pen helped create the distinctive letterforms that are the basis for modern typography.
In the Western world, calligraphy peaked in the Middle Ages during the Renaissance when artists, scribes and writers such as William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Sir Francis Bacon used the art form for artistic and decorative purposes.
Modern calligraphy is a visual art that uses a broad range of different materials, including ink, paper, typefaces, and computer programs. Modern calligraphy is typically created by hand, but it can also be created by machine. Modern calligraphy has evolved over the centuries from the ancient practice of calligraphy in the classical sense. Calligraphy in the classical sense is still practiced today, but it is used for a different purpose than modern calligraphy. Calligraphy in the classical sense serves a more decorative purpose, such as sign writing or creating art. Modern calligraphy has developed from the classical calligraphy in many different ways. For example, calligraphy in the classical sense used a broad range of materials, such as ink and water-based paints, to create writings. Modern calligraphy, however, uses a variety of different materials, such as ink, paint, paper, typefaces, and computer programmes.
Transition to Digital Scripting and Printing
Calligraphy in the classical sense was traditionally done by hand, but as technology advanced and calligraphy programs became available, the practice became accessible to more people. For example, calligraphy in the classical sense may have once been practiced by only the wealthy or those with exceptional artistic talent. Today, however, anyone can practice calligraphy by using computer programs or calligraphy pens.
In addition to the accessibility of calligraphy in the classical sense, the practice has also progressed in terms of the materials used and the formality of the compositions created. In the past, calligraphy compositions were painted on paper and would often be decorated with gold or other expensive materials. Today, however, calligraphy is often created on various types of paper, such as cardboard and construction paper.
Calligraphy is an art form that has been practiced for many centuries in different cultures around the world. It developed as an art and as a means of recording information in ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians and Chinese. Calligraphy has since evolved as a discipline of its own. While modern calligraphy has abandoned the ornate scripts used in earlier times to make beautiful writings, it also now encompasses digital lettering programs so that words can be printed on paper without the need for an artist’s hand.