The Beauty of the Georgian script
12 December, 2015
The Beauty of the Georgian script
Georgian script, invented in III century B.C. by Parnavaz I, King of Iberia and Colchis, is today among the oldest of the world’s 14 alphabets. Despite being millennia old, Georgian culture has not lost is importance and continues to develop; our script has undergone numerous changes throughout the centuries, changing its appearance three times – from Asomtavruli to Nuskhuri to Mkhedruli, with the latter still in use to this day.
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Technical progress saw a large variety of fonts getting developed
for our already quite ornate script. This is precisely why Georgian Journal decided to get in touch with Nino Jishkariani, co-founder of “Kartli Font” association that has recently presided over an exhibition of Georgian fonts:

“Our initiative will usher in a new stage of Georgian script’s development, based on our immense heritage”

“Computerization has made many things easier nowadays. A book represents a foundation of our culture, while font is the book’s language. In the past, a lot of attention was paid to what font was used for a particular kind of book – the type varied depending on whether it was a children’s book, a scientific thesis, a work of fiction, etc. Readability of the font is also of great importance because it should not strain and tire your eyes. Technological advancement should, I think, facilitate the emergence of new, more modern and improved polygraphic fonts. However, involvement and participation of the younger generation in this process is vital.

Letter “თ” (T)
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Our initiative will usher in a new stage of the Georgian script’s development, based on our immense heritage. We should all care for our script, given how special and unique it is”.

Letter “ლ” (L)
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Young artists, too, care about calligraphy and further development of our script nowadays. Georgian Journal contacted Giorgi Sisauri, a calligrapher, to find out more. At the age of 12, his works were evaluated by Louvre experts, who pronounced him a virtuoso. It can be safely said that this man gifted the Georgian script with a new life.

Georgian alphabet by “Kartli Font”
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“Painting is an amazing thing - it can fit a whole world in itself and gives your soul absolute freedom”


– How did you get interested in Georgian calligraphy?

– Before I got into this field of art, I was actively involved in painting. Besides, I am an author of four books… Let’s just say that I am a very multifaceted person. It might sound strange, but I was that way since I was 12 – I essentially refused my childhood in favor of personal development, and the process continues to this day. Painting is an amazing thing - it can fit a whole world in itself and gives your soul absolute freedom. My almost abnormal love for it has led me to dedicating myself to professional study of this field. When I was a ninth-grader, the president’s personal permit allowed me to attend art history lectures at Tbilisi Art Academy.
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Letter “გ” (G), “ი” (I)

– Religious themes are quite prevalent in your work. How so?

– Along with letters, I often draw angels as well as work on rewriting prayers and hymns. I use a variety of paints for my drawings, as well as golden wafers. However, I frequently use pens and ink as well, especially when working on graphical drawings.

This year marked the first time of Georgian works of calligraphy getting publicity abroad. With Georgian Embassy’s support, an exhibition was held in Egypt with the purpose of acquainting foreigners with Georgian culture, and it featured calligraphy as well.

Author: Eka Gadakhabadze
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