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Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World



Nice dodge there, but I am not talking about copying the  original Bible I am 
talking about when a scribe takes the scripture and  while they are inspired 
by the scripture, comes up with a work of Art in  the drawings and the 
calligraphy.   So Sally if someone took  a  Midsummer Nights Dream and used 
calligraphy and illustrated it, that would not  be art, because Shakespeare already 
printed it? How many book arts discussions  here are of people illustrating or 
being inspired by previous work? And  what about oriental calligraphy and Art, 
they are not art because they are  copying previous works, quotes of Confucius, 
or the Buddha? 
    During the middle ages a master scribe  would make a Bible book that 
would be unique, their expression of their  faith. It took a while, the Bible is a 
big thing and they would not do  it unless they were inspired. Europe is full 
of these occupying  usually national museums or private collections as the 
work of the master  scribe is valued for the Art. Sometimes that book would then 
be transcribed  and copied, usually by monasteries and hence the previous 
discussion on bored  monks.
 
And when I say calligraphy I am not limiting it to  calligraphic hands used 
today, the scripts you find on invitations and such, I  am referring to the 
hands used to make Bibles from the 4th century  onwards.  For instance in Matthew 
chapter 4 where the devil is tempting  Jesus with all the world, I wrote the 
scripture very austere gaunt looking  script in three columns like the codex 
Sinaiticus, I was going for the texture  of the calligraphy, not the hand. The 
hand was inspired by a rule of  Saint Benedict in the Bodleian Library  from 
about  700 AD.  Very austere. The calligraphy of the  next chapter is 
Carolingian because it is the start of Jesus's ministry and  is very beautiful in the 
ornament and script. I studied these scripts, looking  at originals when I have 
the opportunity, and it took a long time to figure  out how to write them, in 
a manner where it is natural to write and not  something that is applied.  
That way I can concentrate on the inspiration  and not the technicalities of 
writing in a particular hand. Here is a link to  the script in Matthew chapter 4.
_http://hometown.aol.com/biblescribe1/biblescribe1/scripts.htm_ 
(http://hometown.aol.com/biblescribe1/biblescribe1/scripts.htm) 
 
But what about the idea of copying and Art?  Are there  any truly unique and 
individual works that are not derived from anything  else?  Can you have Art 
that is completely separate from anything  else?  Art is a reaction, a 
reflection of what we think, a method of  communicating thoughts, you cannot separate 
yourself completely from any of your  experiences, no matter how offensive 
they may be to you. And if  you could  possibly do this, what do you have, 
something that has no bearing on anything,  no meaning at all?
 
Beth of course, those Egyptian  scribes are my favorite. Sorry for limiting 
this to book codex  formats. A lot of ancient art was written on decorative 
items because  writing was a big deal, it was very difficult to do. Or they would 
write on  fragments of things, just to have something to write  upon.  
 
A friend of mine has a stele that I have been trying to get  translated, it 
was dug up at Ur, is about 5000 years old and depicts a man  giving a staff to 
another man, probably his son as  an  inheritance.   It could be a land deed, 
but the giving of the staff is  a sign of inheritance, and this type of thing 
is a form of a legal  contract, common from that time.  The old man has his 
hand at the top  of the staff and the staff has wings at the top.  It is made of 
a blue  green basalt and is very different from the ground it was taken from, 
meaning  they imported the stone. It has the cuneiform all over the back of  
it. Pictograms, the very first writing was written in the form of  pictures.  
Even cuneiform is written in different calligraphic hands, it is  a matter of 
looking at many of them.
     So if that same type of contract is  found to be on another stone does 
that diminish the stele for the art? Its just  a copy of a previous contract. 
    Great depiction of the two men, one  has a Babylonian haircut and dress. 
Long beards and their feet are  posed like Egyptians. Its about 9 inches 
square and is 3 inches thick and  very heavy.
 
James Pepper

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