Moscow hosts the world’s largest calligraphy exhibition

Moscow saw the world’s largest exhibition of artistic handwriting.

Handwritten chefs d’oeuvre by one hundred artists from over thirty countries, such as: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel, USA, Japan, China, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Brazil, etc. are on display at the three Exhibit Halls in Sokolniki Park.

An artefact from Jerusalem has arrived in Moscow: a unique creation by Avraham Borshevsky, a sacred calligraphy expert: the world’s largest mezuzah (one hundred and four centimetres against the usual twenty) listed into the Guinness World Record. A Mezuzah is a piece of sacred text on parchment traditionally hung at every orthodox Jewish household entrance. A mezuzah is kept in a case and the scroll can be unrolled only once a year.

Secular calligraphy is represented by Arab guru Nja Mahdaoui also commonly referred to as the Bill Gates in the world of calligraphy. He focuses on commissions from Arab sheikhs and kings designing stain glass windows and palace exteriors. Sometimes he even receives commissions from state authorities, e.g. he decorated the fuselages of the national airlines' planes of Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE. Moscow now also has some of his works.

Barbara Calzolari, Pope Benedict XVI’s calligrapher creates at the junction of governmental and spiritual realms.

The exposition has one of her rarest pieces: the draft of the illustrated handwritten copy of the National Anthem of the Russian Federation (a gift to Dmitry Medvedev from Silvio Berlusconi).

Berlusconi had been preparing presents for other heads of state for the G-8 Summit: illustrated handwritten national anthems. Barbara Calzolari was doing the job. However, she failed to master Cyrillic handwriting for it turned out that European calligraphers experience such difficulties with Cyrillic alphabet and hieroglyphs. Hence the Russian calligrapher Yevgeny Drobyazin came to the rescue: he helped Barbara to cohere letters and images. A calligrapher’s primary objective is to convey the expression, motion, image inherent in the very essence of the letter and the word. That’s why a word can engender a dress, a carpet, a sculpture, or a ceramic plate. Thus calligrapher Bruno Niver uses poetry in costume design. Yuri Koverdyayev, the author of the current fifty-ruble note, paints portraits with calligraphic stanzas. A Taiwan calligrapher, apparently inspired by Nikolai Leskov’s Tale of Cross-eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea, presented his Calligraphy on a Wing of a Fly, writing, “Russia, I love you”.

The exhibition will be on until November 14th.

Source: the Rossiiskaya Gazeta (the Russian Newspaper), official website