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Discovering Cyrillic Calligraphy and Illumination: Theory and Practice of an Ancient Art

Saturday, October 10, 10:00am – 1:00pm EDT
Members $15, Nonmembers $20
Registration required by Thursday, October 8. The Zoom link will be sent to participants on October 9.
Materials not provided

Cyrillic calligraphy is an ancient art, dating back to the creation of the Cyrillic alphabet in the ninth century. In this workshop, the instructors will explore the history of Cyrillic calligraphy and describe the difference between the styles and scripts, and explain the differences between traditional illumination styles in medieval and early modern manuscripts.

Participants will be introduced to the basics of creating simple objects of art, such as cards, name tags, and bookmarks, as well as describe the steps for creating more complex art, such as copying the page of an existing historical manuscript or creating your own manuscript page by combining elements of existing manuscripts. During the last hour, the instructors will outline the principal steps in producing illuminated calligraphic art: laying out the page, writing the text, tracing the design on a separate slip of paper and copying it onto the page, and finally coloring the illumination. The participants can then practice creating a bookmark with the first words from the Gospel of John.

Edgar and Anastasija Ropa have been studying the medieval and early modern documents produced in Livonia, at the crossroads of eastern and western traditions of writing, and the artistic practices that went into the decoration of historical documents, presenting their research at international venues, with peer-reviewed publications to their credit. They share a passion for historical calligraphy and illumination.

Materials List:
A pen for calligraphy art or a holder, nib(s) and ink of the desired color
Ruled paper or watercolor paper
Soft pencil
Rubber eraser
(Optional) Watercolor paints, or watercolor pencils, or gouache paints, or tempera