History of Calligraphy

person writing on brown paper
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Calligraphy is a beautiful visual art related to writing. It is the execution and design of lettering with an ink brush, pen, or other writing instruments. A modern calligraphic practice can be described as the art of giving form to signs in a harmonious, expressive, and experienced manner.

Calligraphy – History

Chinese History

In old China, the earliest Chinese characters existing are Oracle bone script carved on tortoise plastrons and ox scapulae because the dominators in the Shang Dynasty cut pits on such animals’ bones and then cooked them to gain auspice of agricultural harvest, military affairs, or even weather and procreating. After the cracks were made during the divination ceremony, the characters were recorded with a brush on the bone or shell to be later carved. With the development of Bronzeware script (Jīnwén) and Large Seal Script (Dàzhuàn), “cursive” signs went on. Mao Gong Ding is one of the most popular and common Bronzeware scripts in Chinese calligraphy history. It has around 500 characters on the bronze, which is the most significant number of bronze inscriptions the archaeologists have discovered so far. Moreover, each ancient kingdom of current China had its own bunch of characters.

About 220 BCE, the infamous emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first to conquer the entire Chinese basin, forced several reforms, among them Li Si’s character concurrence, which developed a set of 3300 standardized Xiǎozhuàn characters. Even though the main writing implement of the time was already the brush, few papers survive from this era, and the prominent examples of this style are on steles.

Tibetian History

The nobles of Tibet, such as the inhabitants of the Potala Palace and High Lamas, were brilliantly capable calligraphers. Tibet has been a heart of Buddhism for numerous centuries, and that religion places an exceptional deal of significance on the written word. Almost all crucial religious writing involved calligraphy since the dawn of Buddhism in Tibet, including letters sent by the Dalai Lama and other secular and religious authorities.

Indian History

Devanāgarī script is used to write the Sanskrit, Prākrit, Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali languages, and it developed in India thousands of years ago. It wasn’t the regular calligraphy per se, but the words and wordings were similar.

Indian calligraphy commenced around 500 CE when Indian colonists, traders, military adventurers, Buddhist monks, and Hindu saints brought the Indic script to Central Asia from South East Asia. Religious texts are the most prevalent purpose for Indian calligraphy.

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