Calligraphic Examples


Calligraphy (from the Greek kallos = beautiful and graphos = writing) is the science or, if you prefer, the art of beautiful writing. The concept of beauty, of course, is very subjective, but observing the main styles created by skilled hands, over the centuries, one cannot deny the strong charm that is found in the written form, regardless of the contents.

My exercise book (Infant school)

The historical origin of writing has not yet been established with total certainty, but scholars seem to agree that it was the Phoenicians who were the first to give human thoughts a concrete and lasting form. It may give one to think that this first form of writing was born for fiscal purposes: the annotation of taxes due in the exchange of goods, but let's be content with the fact that it was later used for something else!


The first forms of writing were not based, like today's ones, on single letters grouped in an alphabet, but were composed of symbols that recalled the appearance of the various objects (pictograms and, subsequently, ideograms). One of the best known is the Egyptian one, used in the pyramids. Subsequently, the signs were modified, until the close connection to the objects was lost, to arrive at graphic symbols linked, rather, to a sound or phoneme.

In the West, the Roman alphabet of epigraphs, derived from the Greek one, represents perhaps the most elegant example of harmonious and pleasant forms. In fact, everyday writing was very different and it is very difficult to read a passage written in Roman cursive. On the contrary, the alphabet (also capitalized only) of the Rustica Romana, used mainly for literary writings, is certainly much more readable.

The invention of printing with movable type, in the mid-1400s, does not completely take away the work of calligraphers (but certainly that of the copyists...!), as the alphabets for printing characters were still conceived and created by calligraphers. Today the technology is such that almost everything is produced electronically, but still with the cooperation of graphic designers and calligraphers who, manually (the mouse has replaced the quill), take care of the appearance of every single character.

Some of my works

Below, some examples of works I have done over the years. It is a small selection, also because I have not always had the opportunity (or the foresight) to take photographs. A separate page is dedicated to 'my' Divine Comedy.

Pioggia nel Pineto

Pioggia nel Pineto

Writing and drawings by D J Quinn

Pioggia nel Pineto

Pioggia nel Pineto

Writing and drawings by D J Quinn

Album Matrimonio

Album foto di un Matrimonio

Writing and drawings by D J Quinn

Preghiera di S. Francesco

Preghiera di S. Francesco
Omaggio per il tenore Placido Domingo

Writing by D J Quinn, illustration by Rosa Floris


(in una delle tante versioni)

Scrittura D J Quinn

Fratellanza Militare

Aggiornamento ai nomi
Fratellanza Militare (FI)

Scrittura D J Quinn

Diploma EUI

Diploma Honoris Causa
Istituto Universitario Europeo (FI)

Scrittura D J Quinn

Menu Pescatore

Cenacolo del Pescatore (FI)

Scrittura D J Quinn

Here is an example of the restoration of an ancient parchment...

Restauro Pergamena - Prima

Parchment restoration - (Before)

Restauro Pergamena - Dopo

Parchment restoration - (after)