Pen and Ink Sketches From 17th Century Georgia

de castelli sketch 2If you keep a sketchbook, this might interest you.

Georgia Today had an article recently about some pen-and-ink sketches by a 17th-century Italian missionary named Christophoro de Castelli.

Apparently, he spent 22 years travelling in the country of Georgia, and kept a series of books in which he sketched landscapes and scenes of life in the Eurasian region.

De Castelli’s pen and ink sketches and notes fill seven volumes and those available online are worth perusing. (UC Berkeley has many of the same and a few additional sketches by De Castelli.)

de castelli sketch 3The sketches range from rough outlines of two men with bows fighting over a woman to detailed drawings and notes of Georgians at work in the fields. One that I saw even appeared to show the body of a man being dragged into a tree by a rope.

The seven volumes initially were discovered in a library in Palermo in the early 1900s. According to Georgia Today, the Georgian Art Palace in Tbilisi recently acquired copies of some of the sketches from the National Library of Ireland.

For the people of Georgia, they offer a glimpse of their history. For us, another example of the creative power of pen and ink.

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