Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Conversations about the Lettre Batarde

Conversations about Lettre Batarde, is a book created by Luca Bedino (Archivist of
Historical Archive in Fossano) and me. Both worked on the creation of this book, but I must say, that the idea of create the book was Luca Bedino, also thanks him I had the pleasure of stay at the Historical Archive of Fossano studying this script, script that I've learn thanks of his knowledge about Paleography, which helped me to understand some letters that I was not available to understand, also how it was written.

Our intention on this book, like all the books, the idea it was to share, share our knowledge, in that case about The Batarde Script. Luca Bedino did all the historical research, and me as a calligrapher the calligraphy research studying the script as my point of view as a calligrapher.

as it is written at the book; "The discovery of the lettre bâtarde has occurred during my study period in Italy in the autumn of 2012, Fossano (CN), a Piedmont town rich in history. In its fourteenth-century castle is located the historical archive that preserves an enormous patrimony of documents, dating back to the Middle Ages. Among them are documents from the XV-XVI centuries, written in lettre bâtarde . These are the acts of the Dukes of Savoy, lords of the Piedmont, and municipal documents and brotherhoods. They are in Latin, most of them on vellum.
Initially the difficulty of the language (latin) and the newness of a script never seen before like that, frightened me, while at the same time, the energy and movement standing out from those pages fascinated me.

Has not been easy the approaching to this script, this are my firsts steps as a calligrapher and I recognize my limits. So much was my satisfaction studying those manuscripts, that I’ve decided to divulge my experience, without any kind of pretension, however I think that this script, deserves to be known."

Tre Calligraphy, Carles Gonzalez, lettre batarde, conversations about lettre batarde
Book cover

And this is what I've been questioning to myself, what it was what brought me to get involved with the calligraphy? Is not the perfection of the letters, is the movement and the joy of express through a qualilty of line.

Why has been The LettreBatarde so important for me? I had the chance to study a wonderful early gothic script,dated from early of 1300 one of the oldest documents at the "archivio storico de Fossano" and also gothic script is an script that I've still need to learn.

What's calligraphy for you? Movement & Rhythm or Constancy and Perfection? My answer is movement and rhythm, but I must say, that both answers belong to each other. Is the constancy and perfection which gives you the movement and the rhythm, and viceversa.

Also I would like to share with you the text, that Ewan Clayton, did as an introduction for the book, and give thanks to Ewan for his collaboration at the book.


When William Morris began the revival of calligraphy in Europe in the late nineteenth century he focused on the book, calligraphy was seen as an ally of typography, calligraphers were going to help to provide new typefaces. The result was a preoccupation was with ‘bookscripts’ and for some years calligraphy was practised in Britain as a kind of elaborate handmade typography, where unity between letterforms was stressed over and above their diversity. When Rudolph Koch began his studies, he too began by looking at type, copying letters from newspapers and magazines and building his work on more recent German traditions. The result was that earlier medieval documentary (diplomatic) scripts, like the letter bâtarde, were overlooked.
Carles González and Luca Bedino are to be congratulated on this little book: Carles for his hours of study at Fossano and Luca for seeing his archive not only as a scholarly resource of historical material but also one that holds creative and artistic potential. The result of their collaboration is this gift to us calligraphers – images and work of vitality and calligraphic daring as we follow the quest for the spirit of bâtarde today.

Ewan Clayton

Tre Calligraphy, Carles Gonzalez, lettre batarde, conversations about lettre batarde
Aplication of Lettre Batarde

Tre Calligraphy, Carles Gonzalez, lettre batarde, conversations about lettre batarde
Gestual calligraphy with lettre batarde.

And special thanks to Luca Bedino, for share with me this  months of learning in Fossano, and to Enrico Cassacia (CO.RE Editrice) for trust on this project, and bring it from the idea to the printer.

At the end of this book, I really wanted go to France, to compare the script, to see their origins, I'd like to have the chance to do it one day.

Carles González, Banyoles 12 Febrer del 2013.

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