gakan 画巻
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Chinese term for a painting on a handscroll. The Japanese term *emaki 絵巻 has the same meaning. The origin of the handscroll in China can be traced back to pre-Han times before paper was invented, to the period when cloth was used for paintings. A handscroll is unfurled from the left hand to the right while the painting moves from the right to the left. A sense of the progression of time is conveyed as the images advance. Narrative painting of the Six dynasties period, shows scenes divided into separated segments within the composition. This convention greatly influenced early Japanese handscroll compositions and led to the development of a unique sense of the passage of time within Japanese scrolls.


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