2398[Marbling] Re: 1869's marbling description
- Apr 6, 2004Great Jake! Tradition to my thoughts is sort of like playing
"Telephone"....the message keeps changing and changing.....and it is always
evolving or morphing into something else with each new transmission. And
thankfully so, new innovations come in, but we should try and remember what
has gone before. I admire your knowledge and interest in the history, you
are one of the few who remind us of the ....pardon the pun....colorful
history of marbling. Jake, you are a treasure! I don't think I have told
you that for at least a decade, but think it often!
Marbling these days, I see especially when I teach, is more a matter of
being asked which color goes with what, or does bouquet look better in pink
than in orange.....yes, it is art and these are truly appropriate
questions, but .....wow....I sometimes just stand back in awe at the long
and amazing history, and the scientific points of this "art" also. Marbling
is truly a fascinating subject to study in real depth......it is sometimes
a romantic history, sometimes a very ugly one, as seen in the Dickensian
use of little children in Victorian England, hidden behind partitions, each
only allowed to know a part of the secret process, and worked until they
were ready to drop.
Thanks for all the information you share with us.....keep reminding us of
BTW.....does ANYONE use Bluing anymore???? I remember it......that dates
me, LOL! WOnder how Laundry starch would work as size, .....just
kidding....does anyone else remember the sprinkle bottles for ironing???
Bet they'd be good for making stone patterns!
Message text written by INTERNET:Marbling@yahoogroups.com
>Feridun, you are quite right in pointing this out. The story given in the
article is one
of the most hilarious stories I've encountered! Then again it is,
less, a pretty
good description of the techniques at that time. Yet this myth about how
was invented seems a familiar model. Wasn't washing bluing (Ã§amasir
commercial preparation of ultramarine blue solds in small balls or pellets
washing white clothing) used for marbling in Turkey?
A story currently on the web describes a mysterious, unknown, Central
artist who noticed that color floated on water while cleaning his brushes.
I am quite
intrigued that despite a compelling lack of evidence to support this
author is not only certain of it, but that they have also determined the
figure who was the orignator of all marbling to have been ethnically
h! yet the
story bears a certian similarity to the one in Manufacturer and Builder.
Many stories and suggestion suggest that someone in particular "invented"
Most of these have an enthocentric emphasis that must be veiwed with
objectivity than the original author possesed. One Indian manuscript
Ma'asir -i Rahimi (dated 1615 CE) mentions that Mohamed Amin from Mashhad
"invented abri". But sometimes I think they may mistake or mis-translate
"invented" for "innovated". This has not stopped a number of Indian
authors from repeating this attribution.
I just came across yet another recent book published by an excellent
Mughal painting that repeats this same information ad verbatim.
Seyller, John, Artist and Patron in Mughal India. Artibus Asiae, Zurich.
An otherwise excellent book that unfortunately contains one problematic
Yves Porter mentions in his book
Painters paintings and Books. Manohar Publishers New Delhi, 1995
( French version: Arts et Peinture du Livre)
that the Iranian scholar Suhayli Khvansari makes an interesting reference
introduction to his critical Persian edition of the manuscript
Golestan-i Honer (Rosegarden of Art) by Qadi Ahmad.
Khvansari says that a Mir Mohamed Tahir "invented" marbling in India,
doesn't reveal his source. Porter also systematically reviews the many
mentioned by another Persian scholar named Mohamed Taqi Danesh-Pazhuh.
man claimed the Emperor Babur, among others, mentioned marbled paper,
Porter has shown to be false.
So, in the end, I am not so sure if these 16th and 17th century
fully accurate either. One of the most famous 16th century references
in Turkey is the attribution of marbling in a copy of the Hadiqat us Sueda
of Fuzuli to
Shebek Mehmed Effendi. This was derived from a much later inscription
the cover stating "with the papers of Shebek Mehmed Effendi". While the
te of the
manuscript's production seems to fit with what we know about Shebek
inscription in no way proves that this manuscript contains his work.
, this piece is
widely cited as the "authentic work" of Shebek Mehmed Effendi.
In fact some of the alba amicora shown by Nedim SÃ¶nmez at Arrowmont are
better sources for understand 16th century Ottoman marbling than some of
Ottoman manuscripts that we know about, simply becuase of the problems
dating them. The alba amicora on the other hand are filled with many
references that better help to determine specific provenance. and there
e so many
kinds of papers in these manuscripts too- as you saw, there were even
stencils, calligraphic stencils, various pattern styles. Nedim described
broader range of styles than was previously known.
Then turning to Japan, there's the wonderful story of Jiyemon Hiroba, who
n the 8th
century was inspired to make suminagashi after special devotions at the
shrine. This family maintains that this was the very beginning of their
tradition for over 90 generations. There may be some merit to this, in
Hiroba may have been an "innovator' rather than an "originator". Einen
found that suminagashi is mentioned in waka poems that pre-date the time
Jiyemon's supposed discovery.
Did Necmeddin Okyay invent floral marbling, or did he come up with
floral marbling? The latter of course, as there is a lot of evidence for
from the 18th century. Yet the style of Necmeddin, now deemed
entirely displaced the earlier styles.
Did Hatip Mehmed Effendi actually invent motifs? The answer is no, he
have evidence showing that motifs are much older. Was he responsible for
innovative motifs? Yes, he certainly was. The motifs that we can
e with him
are beautifully rendered and executed. Does Hatib's work make the earlier
somehow "obsolete"? Have the contemporary methods outlined for creating
motifs (generally said that to consist of 3 strokes) served to only
understanding of older motif forms? I think so.
All of this serves to illustrate how "tradition" is not necessarily the
e thing as
"history". "Tradition" as such is a process of transmission of knowledge
person to the next. Many innovations and variations can develop and be
a a "tradition" even displacing earlier methods. Hence the innovations
e then seen
as completely original inventions. Josef Halfer favored carragheenan, and
Investigating older articles and evidence always yields important clues,
t one is
likely to stumble over problems of one sort or another. Each writer is
y able to
describe what they know and nothing more. The impact of these older
quite harmless, as so few actually bother to read them. We could
Rosamond Loring, Mehmed Ali Kagitci, Olga Hirsch, and Albert Haemmerle for
scholarly oversights, but without their fledgling efforts, where would we
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