I recently received this lovely card from Doug in Hawaii. He was responding to the past Question of the Week: If you could receive a handwritten letter from anyone throughout history, who would it be? Why, and what do you think they would tell you? What would their letter be like?
I have received some truly wonderful responses to this particular Question of the Week, and Doug’s was one of them.
19 May 2012
I think the historical figure I would most like to receive a handwritten letter from would be Niccolo Niccoli, the early 15th century Florentine scholar who invented the form of handwriting I am trying to emulate here. That would be “italic” or Italian Humanistic Cursive. Using elements from ancient Carolingian and contemporary cursive, he created a form that was legible and quick in order to accommodate the demand for transcripts of classical texts. Note that this was the era directly preceding the developments and proliferation of books via mechanical replication from a printing press. It was the handwriting of the geniuses of the Renaissance! Wouldn’t a letter from Niccolo really be something?
From the moment I opened up Doug’s letter, I was smiling over its incredible penmanship! I love its hurried, yet elegant shape.
What a great response to this question! I can only imagine how beautiful Niccolo’s lettering would be.
Thank you so much for sharing this art with us, Doug, and for the mini history lesson!