Benvenuti in queste pagine dedicate a scienza ed arte. Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yashima Gakutei

Yashima Gakutei (1786-1868)
Dea con drago e sol nascente, Periodo Edo, c.1825
Xilografia su carta, nishiki-e con pigmenti metallici e gauffrage
Goddess with dragon and rising sun, Edo period, c.1825
Xylography on paper, nishili-e with metal pigments and gauffrage
Museo Arte Orientale, Torino

Nishiki-e (lit. "brocade picture") refers to Japanese multi-colored woodblock printing. It was invented in the 1760s, and perfected and popularized by the printmaker Suzuki Harunobu, who produced a great many nishiki-e prints between 1765 and his death five years later. Previously, most prints had been in black-and-white, colored by hand, or colored with the  addition of one or two color ink blocks. A nishiki-e print is created by carving a separate woodblock for every color, and using them in a stepwise fashion. An engraver by the name of Kinroku is credited with the technical innovations that allowed the blocks of separate colors to fit perfectly onto the page, relative to others, in order to have the complete image.