Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Mood Indigo

[Japanese, 794 - 1185. Collection of the Freer-Sackler.] 

If you look closely at this late-12th-century indigo-dyed paper, you can make out fine ruled lines.

It's a sutra, or Buddhist text, related to the bodhisattva Fugen, but at first glance I was just attracted to the delicate metallic lines on the deepest blue ground and couldn't help imagining how cool it would've been back in elementary school to have silver pencils and spiral notebooks filled with sheets of indigo.

Find more on this Heian period piece, here, along with similar indigo-dyed pages.

1 comment:

Emile de Bruijn said...

Very elegant idea, indigo school notebooks with silver and gold pencils! But how would the teacher mark the work, then? With a harshly white pen, perhaps? :)

The style of writing used for this sutra is really elegant too, each character being a little composition in itself, full of movement and yet very legible.