Sunday, February 4, 2024

Construction of Roman Capital Letters

Edward Catich demonstrated that the Roman letters on Trajan's Column were created with a brush, not a chisel. His research challenged the long-held assumption that the inscriptions were solely the work of stonemasons. 

Catich was a Roman Catholic priest, calligrapher, and expert on the Roman alphabet. His work, especially his book "The Origin of the Serif," published in 1968, has shaped our understanding of Roman lettering and calligraphy.

In the following Instagram video, Tom Kemp revives Catich's brush technique:

1 comment:

Jim Douglas said...

Even if Roman letters that appear on stone were designed with a brush, they are nonetheless the product of carving. While I love calligraphy and brushwork, I still think the three-dimensional nature of chiseled letters is superior in effect.

CBS Sunday Morning ran a story on stone carving letters that's worth watching:

John & Nick Benson and the John Stevens Shop founded in 1705.