Calligraphy: what is the art of beautiful writing

There calligraphy seemed destined to be locked up and relegated to the dusty memories of attics: first set aside by the old and dear typewriter – industrial derivation of the tacheographer conceived by the engineer and inventor Pietro Conti – and then by the advent of computers and printers, with their evolutions and innovations. But handwritten writing has its revenge today.

Calligraphy is an art with an ancient charm

Handwriting by law is included under the heading “art” what in the most ancient past was born as a system of annotation or communication such as the Jiahu pictographic systems, engraved on turtle shells around 6600 BC, or the ancient Indus script of 3500 BC An ancient art that recalls the scriptoria of the copyist monks, so skilfully recalled of it The Name of The rose by Umberto Eco, or the beautiful passages of The Calligrapha book by Todd Shimoda that narrates the splendor and beauty of oriental ideograms.

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The revenge of the pen and curated writing begins quietly between 1800 and 1900, thanks to the work of two passionate popularizers: the English Edward Johnston and German Rudolf Koch. Johnston and Kock are rightfully so considered the fathers of modern calligraphy, authors of prestigious manuals that have dictated construction rules and schemes, regulating a world made up of ancient and modern styles and graphic signs. Terms such as Uncial, Gothic, Italica have entered by right in the lexicon of today’s passionate scribes and specialists who have made calligraphy a profession.

There modern calligraphyranging from the study of basic characters to new forms of expression, it moves in the wake of the knowledge of the fundamental rules, the same ones traced by Johnston and Koch. Geometric settings and variations allow an expressiveness that typefaces find it hard to have: the manual skills and the creativity they build artistic plots of great effect or re-propose, following the formal styles, a scholastic approach to writing.

Between scents of ink and nibs, colors and papers, today all the charm of handwriting is rediscovered, a real imprint that denotes a control of the stroke and the sign. But calligraphy is also a way to regain one’s own space of creativity: so even the notes and notes in a notebook become small works of art to leaf through with passion, smelling ancient scents and new emotions.

Writers who played with calligraphy

But there is no shortage of examples of writers who have skillfully played with calligraphy: as in the case of Carl Gustav Jung than in Liber Novusbetter known as Red Bookhe decorated and wrote the pages of this masterpiece of art and psychology in his own hand.

From the past to the present: Pierluigi Serra, journalist and writer for Newton Compton, in addition to literary production, he has a series of calligraphic exhibitions and displays. From the setting up in international exhibitions to the valuable notebooks which – according to the author – are the work tool and at the same time the relaxing moment of writing a novel or an essay.

You don’t say “beautiful handwriting”: why?

Don’t call it “beautiful handwriting”it would be a simple one perissology, a tautology, to use two learned and uncommon terms. It would be, to put it more easily, a pure repetition: already its name, which originates from the composition of the words of ancient Greek (καλός “beautiful and γραφία “writing”) in itself means “beautiful writing” and even today, despite the technology and the manipulations of generation Z, it is one of the most important tools of communication.

Calligraphy: what is the art of beautiful writing