Bastard Calligraphy: a workshop

I will be doing a workshop on bâtarde, otherwise known as bastarda, a calligraphic hand that emerged from medieval documents to become a formal style for Books of Hours in northern France, Burgundia and Flanders in the second half of the 15th century. The class will take place over the course of two consecutive Sundays, April 28 and May 5, and is being sponsored by the Society of Scribes, Ltd., the calligraphic society in the New York City metropolitan region. For details on how to register go to their website,

Bâtarde blends the liveliness of italic with the visual mass and power of textura. It has a counterpoint rhythm that makes it a joy to write; and a variety of letterforms that provides both visual interest and fun. Some outstanding examples of bâtarde are the Book of Hours of Philip of Burgundy (c. 1450–1460), King René’s Book of Love (1457), and the Hours of Mary of Burgundy (c. 1477). Two calligraphers or scribes who employed the bâtarde hand with dash and aplomb were David Aubert (before 1413, flourished 1449–1479) and Jean Mielot (d. 1472).

Les Regnars traversant les perilleuses voyes des folles fiances du monde (c. 1505–1510, Ghent). Rosenbach Museum & Library, MS 197/30, f. 41.