The Art of the Pen

CALLIGRAPHY FROM THE COURT OF THE EMPEROR RUDOLF II

2.

THE J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM LOS ANGELES

The Art of the Pen

1

CALLIGRAPHY FROM THE COURT OF THE EMPEROR RUDOLF II

Lee Hendrix and Thea Vignau- Wilberg

by its subject; diminished writing; and micrography, writing too small to be read with the naked eye. Displaying script at its greatest remove from conventional writing, exhibition hands epitomize the drive for virtuosity that dominated calligraphy by the end of the sixteenth century. This focus on virtuosity is in turn the most obvious manifestation of the effort to elevate writing to the status of a fine art that scribes appear to have undertaken in imitation of Renaissance visual artists. Unlike Arrighi, Tagliente, or

N eudorffer, Bocskay was not a great formal innovator. Rather, his contribution to the art of writing lies in his transformation of it into a powerful medium for self-expression.

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PLATES

gala thea (L.): Marbled white Chilopoda: Centipede

The identifications oj specimens proceed Jrom top to bottom and Jrom left to right.

COlllmon names have been provided wherever possible. III the case oj the insect identifications, British English cOlllmon names have ben used, since most oj the specimens represented do not exist ill the United States. Where a different American COlli III on name is known, it has been included Jollowing the British name, separated by a slash. The names oj higher taxonomic groups (families and orders) have been printed in roman type, while genus and species names appear ill italic.

Frontispiece. Fot.ro 2. Decorated alphabet

Ephemeroptera: MayAy

Silene Dioica (L.)Clairv.: Red campion (spotted petals unusual for species)

Pyrus communis L.: Common pear, gourd type

Fot.ro 3. Antiquascript

Nigella daniascena L. "Plena": Love, in-a ... mist

Prunus auium (L.) L.: Sweet cherry Castallea sativa Mill.: Spanish chestnut

FOLIO 7. Gothic capitals Diptera Syrphidae (e): Hover Ay/ Aower Ay

Lepidoptera Sphingidae Hyles euphorbiae (L.): Horntail caterpillar of spurge hawk-moth

Pyrus communis L.: Common pear, gourd type

Lep, Satyridae Melallargia gala thea ssp.

Fo i.r a 9. Letters with exaggerated ascenders and descenders Arachnida Araneae Pisauridae DolllledesJil1lbriata (Clerck):

Nurseryweb spider

Nigella damascene L.: Love-in-a-mist Hymenoptera Eumenidae Eumenes sp.: Potter wasp

Ribes Rubrum L.: Red currant

Fo r.i a II. Germanic Gothic scri pt with decorated initial

Lepidoptera N ocruidae Mythilllna stramlnea (Treitschke) or M. obsoleta (Hubner): Southern or obscure wainscot

Rosagallica L.: French rose, bud Imaginary wasplike insect

Bellis perennis L. "Hortensis":

English daisy

Lep, Lasiocampidae: Caterpillar of lasiocampid moth (z)

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