gokusaishiki 極彩色
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Bright, strong color applied in layers to a painting, Buddhist image or architectural structure. The technique involves mineral pigments, sometimes with a base of shell-white *gofun 胡粉, that are applied layer upon layer to a surface, achieving a jewel-like brilliance. In painting this term applies to *yamato-e やまと絵. In architecture, gokusaishiki was commonly employed inside Buddhist temples, pagodas and shrines after the early modern period, kinsei 近世, after the 16c. Evidence suggests, however, that in ancient times, color was applied to the outsides of religious buildings as well. In sculpture, as early as the Asuka period, mineral pigments were added to Buddhist images, but it was during and after the Fujiwara period that many images were given splendid color designs. In particular, the gokusaishiki was employed for intricate patterns on the garments of Buddhist images.


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