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date: 20 May 2019


The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists

Ian Chilvers

Writing and drawing instrument used with ink or a similar coloured fluid. From Early Christian times until the 19th century the standard form of pen in Europe was the quill, made from bird feathers, and most of the pen drawings of the Old Masters were done with such instruments. Goose, swan, and turkey quills have commonly been used for writing and crow quills provide a very fine point for drawing. The reed pen, made from stems of bamboo-like grasses, was already in use in classical antiquity and is probably older than the quill. The point is much coarser, producing a bold, angular line, sometimes slightly blurred at the edges. For drawing it has been used much less than the quill, though ... ...

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