Aesthetics Exploration: Calligraphy

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The aesthetic I have chosen to explore is calligraphy. I have always been interested in how people can use writing to create art instead of a picture. Calligraphy is defined as “fancy penmanship, especially highly decorative handwriting” by dictionary.com [2]. Historically, calligraphy dates back to before 500 BC and was used in a variety of cultures. The art was practiced early on with the Arabic language, once being used solely for legibility. The practice soon turned into the art form we know today. Calligraphy was also popular in China where they perfected brushes specifically for the art [3]. The images below show examples of traditional Arabic (left) and Chinese (right) calligraphy.

Today, calligraphy is used to create anything from phone backgrounds to wedding invitations. There is something about it that is so pleasing to look at, even when it isn’t saying much at all. I often find examples of calligraphy used to write quotes or inspirational phrases, but examples that simply show the alphabet can be just as beautiful.

Citations

  • https://www.maydesigns.com/fun/digital-wallpapers-february-2018 [1]
  • https://www.dictionary.com/browse/calligraphy [2]
  • https://www.encyclopedia.com/literature-and-arts/language-linguistics-and-literary-terms/language-and-linguistics/calligraphy [3]
  • https://rampages.us/garstai/2016/02/25/calligraphy/ [4]
  • http://islamicartsmagazine.com/magazine/view/dubai_international_arabic_calligraphy_exhibition/ [5]
  • https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/02/art-calligraphy-getting-started-lessons-learned/ [6]

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3 Comments. Leave new

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Hi Danielle,
This was a really nice post on the aesthetic of calligraphy. I think that this was a very unique direction to go in and not something people think about everyday. It’s amazing to see how art in calligraphy can be so diverse yet share the same point of origin. I think it’s interesting how humans are able to evolve and develop their own cultures but at the end of the day we can share a similar passion or interest in these artistic and beautiful forms of written communication. The only thing I would have added was maybe some more examples of calligraphy throughout the world. Arabic and Chinese may be some of the first languages to have it but it would be interesting to see how calligraphy has weaved itself into other cultures and languages.

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Andrew Oliver
January 25, 2019 4:56 pm

Hello Danielle,
I really enjoyed reading your post on this aesthetic. I find it interesting that such a basic form of communication as hand writing can have such a deep meaning and can portray such beauty. It is amazing that this art form has been around since 500 BC, and that it has transformed from a standard form of communication to a decorative art. Different cultures clearly have different styles of calligraphy, that have influenced what we recognize as calligraphy today. If you wanted to go into more detail in this post, you could look at these influences in depth and make an argument for which had the greatest impact. Overall, you did a great job and I look forward to reading your posts in the future

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