9 July, 21:00

"Example Book of Calligraphy" by Georg Bochkay and Joris Hefnagel

"Example Book of Calligraphy" by Georg Bochkay and Joris Hefnagel
In parallel with the development of printing in the 16th century, handwritten skills acquired new meanings, gradually turning into a true art. One of the notable examples of such an artistic approach to manuscripts was the "Sample Book of Calligraphy".
The book was created during the years 1561-1562 by Georg Bochkaj, the court secretary of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. Bochkaj, working in Vienna, created a book whose pages were filled with amazingly beautiful texts executed in different writing styles. This book demonstrated the extraordinary skill of the calligrapher and his ability to experiment with forms and writing techniques.

30 years after the creation of the book, the grandson of Ferdinand I, Emperor Rudolph II, decided to add illustrations to it. For this, he turned to the famous artist Joris Hefnagel, who began work on decorating the pages in 1591. Hefnagel added drawings of flowers, insects, fruits and other elements of nature to Bochkai's book, thereby turning the manuscript into a work of art.
Hefnagel's goal was to demonstrate that the art of illustration can be as expressive and perfect as the beauty of the written word. His works were distinguished by the sophistication of the details, which were harmoniously combined with Bochkay's calligraphic texts. The result of this collaboration was a unique book where two different forms of art — calligraphy and illustration — complement each other.

The "Exemplary Book of Calligraphy" by Georg Bochkay and Joris Hefnagel became a symbol of how in the 16th century, handwriting skill moved to a new level, turning into an art capable of competing with printing technologies.

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