The Magic of Ink


About 1,600 years ago, a popular ink recipe was created. The recipe was used for centuries.
The reservoir pen, which may have been the first fountain pen, dates back to 953, when Ma'ād al-Mu'izz,
the caliph of Egypt, demanded a pen that would not stain his hands or clothes, and was provided with
a pen that held ink in a reservoir. The two most used black writing inks in history are carbon inks and iron
gall inks. Both types create problems for preservationists.

In fine art, the term 'pen and ink' denotes a drawing technique involving the use of black and other coloured
inks which are applied to a support (generally paper) with either a dip pen or a reservoir pen. This traditional,
versatile media has been used by Western artists since ancient-Egyptian times, for sketches, finished drawings
or ink and wash paintings. It is also one of the main mediums involved in book illustration.

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