Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木春信 (1725?-1770)
Arranging His Loincloth
From an untitled series

Japan, Edo period (1615-1868), c. 1770
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Gift of James A. Michener, 1991

In this print, Harunobu employs the technique of colorless embossing (karazuri) to describe subtly a white, silk loincloth with which the standing man covers his nudity. Though centuries of wear and discoloration have dulled the visual impact that this technique was intended to produce, we can certainly imagine the appearance of the print when the paper was perfectly white and when the shadows cast by the embossing were more easily noticed.

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