|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
of hanshita-e 版下絵. The final master drawing or design which was used
by an artist or his workshop to carve the main key block *omohan
主版, the block which printed the black compositional outlines of a woodblock
print *ukiyo-e 浮世絵.
The design was painted in black ink *sumi
墨, on very thin paper, such as *minogami
美濃紙 or, in the Meiji period, *ganpishi
雁皮紙. When pasted face-down on the woodblock (which reverses the design for
printing) the black lines of the design were visible through the translucent
paper. Many tiny details, such as individual hairs of a wig, etc., were
left to the judgement of the master blockcarver, since it was impossible
to indicate all of these on the hanshita. Though normally destroyed
during the process of carving the key block, in certain cases hanshita
do survive. Surviving examples are often decorated with rudimentary coloring
to enliven the master drawing when first presented to the publisher during
preliminary negotiations and when presented to the censor. All hanshita
for commercial ukiyo-e prints after 1791 needed to be stamped with
the official seal of approval *kiwame-in
極印 before being sent to carvers. The name given to such coloring, goshuugi
御祝儀, reflects this "presentational" function. Only during the Meiji period
did full-color master designs come to be prepared. The hanshita was
only a final stage in a series of draft drawings *gakou
画稿 or manuscripts shahon 写本 prepared by the artist and his workshop.
By the mid-19c there was a distinct craft of professional copyists who specialized
in preparing neat copies of artist's rough drafts .
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