Calligraphy Up To The 19th Century
Calligraphy originated at a time in History when communication was through paintings usually found in caves. The picture drawings developed into the creation by The Egyptians of hieroglyphics. These were found inside tombs or on papyrus paper. The Phoenicians developed this even further and produced possibly one of the first alphabets. Their knowledge was passed on as they visited ports on their sea faring journeys. The Greeks then built on this by developing their own style of writing which was then adapted for the Latin language of The Romans.
Monks were considered to be the literate patrons of society and they adopted the task of scribing ancient texts into fancy album type books for members of royalty and influential church members. It was necessary in order to save money that the style of writing was fairly narrow so that less paper would be used. This is the style we know as Gothic .A printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg mid 15th century and he based it on the Gothic style. This allowed a large volume of bibles to be printed. Although the press was successful it could not be used for formal letters or invitations, therefore handwriting was still extremely important.
The Italians then invented what we know as the italic script and the 17th century brought the invention of copperplate. Not so good for scribes.
By the 19th century various pens were being produced. These could not be used for calligraphy until the British poet William Morris rejuvenated the art of writing by re introducing the flat edged pen most suited to curves calligraphy requires.
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