Calligraphy

Thesauro de scrittori …

da Carpi, Ugo.

Thesauro de scrittori … — [Rome: Antonio Blado, 1535?].

Ugo Da Carpi (ca. 1479–1533), painter and pioneer in the art of chiaroscuro woodcut printing, compiled this early collection of scripts by Italian writing masters Ludovico degli Arrighi, Sigismondo Fanti, and Giovantonio Tagliente. Along with a number of geometrically-constructed alphabets, the work includes practical instructions for forming letters, cutting quills, and mixing ink. First published in 1525, it was reprinted several times using the original woodcut title-page and calligraphy samples.

Purchased from the Jaffray Fund, 1928.

The universal penman ….

Bickham, George.

The universal penman …. —  London: Printed for R. Sayer, [175-?].

Originally issued in fifty-two parts from 1733 to 1741, this calligraphy manual is one of the most important eighteenth-century works on the subject. Commonly worn to pieces by their owners, complete copies of Bickham’s masterwork are rare. In The universal penman calligrapher George Bickham the elder (1684?–1758?) incorporated the scripts of twenty-five different writing masters, skillfully engraved directly on wax without the use of initial tracings. 

Gift of Samuel Putnam Avery, 1891.

Calligraphic portrait of Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière

Bernard, Jean-Joseph.

Calligraphic portrait of Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière, 1793.

Ink on paper with watercolor wash.

This portrait by celebrated French calligraphic portraitist Jean-Joseph Bernard (1740–1809) depicts Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière (1734–1793), French revolutionary and leader of the Girondist party. Born in Lunéville, Bernard executed calligraphic portraits of the leading figures of his day, including Roland, his politically ambitious wife, Jeanne Manon Roland de la Platière, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and Napoléon Bonaparte.

Gift of Philip Hofer, 1958.