Calligraphy History & Styles : Calligraphy in Insular Half-Uncial: Pt. 1

From the sixth century a book hand called
the “Insular half Uncial”, these guys, they are luscious. The book of Kells, here is the
back cover to the book of Kells this is the initial letter “P” o.k. we could conceivably
call this a versal. Look at the unbelievable elaboration of this, I can’t even begin to
tell you how long this must have taken and how many people must have worked on this.
There’s the design, there’s the first you have to you have to get the sheep or the goat
and kill them and and fix the skins and then you have to make all the paints and then you
have to have all the very special tools and you have to design this thing and then you
have to paint it in. It’s just an extraordinary piece and way down here is some little tiny
lettering and this is the lettering that I want to show you now. It’s quite wonderful
but keep in mind once again right what I’m going to show you is a very generic idea of
what the Insular half Uncial character is so you mustn’t, I guess what I mean to say
is you mustn’t take me too literally. The there’s an interesting thing that’s happening
with the “A” and that is that is has what is called a “pulled curve” so that’s the first
stroke of the “A” maybe it goes around to about there and then it goes like this. It’s
basically and then it comes around like this and then it comes off like that so it’s a
bit odd looking. It’s basically you can consider this well it’s still pretty much considered
capitals even though it’s starting to look more like small letters, now. It’s sort of
half way in between.

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