Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cerne Abbas

This is a village famous for the obscene chalk figure cut into a hill nearby. The church is much less of a tourist attraction, but a calligraphy enthusiast may want to have a glance there - its walls are covered in quotations from the Bible written in blackletter calligraphy. Some inscriptions are dated 1679 and others 1701, which means it is baroque calligraphy, a result of an iconoclastic movement which made a sort of a cultural revolution in England. For a few years bands of angry Puritans went from village to village, entered churches and destroyed images. Churches were decorated in calligraphy afterwards, but the Cerne Abbas example shows that real artists were hard to find. The Cerne Abbas inscriptions are of poor quality, a far cry from what was produced at the same time in East Germany.


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