gofun 胡粉
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
1 A white pigment *ganryou 顔料, used in Japan from the Muromachi period to the present day. Gofun was made of calcium carbonate powder obtained by heating and pulverizing the shells of oysters and clams, collected around the Inland Sea coast. It was used alone, or mixed with other pigments *guiri 具入り to lighten the colour tone. An example is cinnabar *shu 朱, mixed with gofun, called shu-no-gu 朱の具 (cinnabar-shell). In woodblock prints *ukiyo-e 浮世絵, gofun was sometimes rubbed directly on the picture surface, or sprinkled to give the effect of falling snow. Mixed with animal glue *nikawa 膠, it was used as a coating on paper *gubiki 具引き, an adhesive for sprinkled gold dust *fundami 粉溜, and a priming *doroji どろ地, on statues and masks after the Kamakura period.

2 The term gofun 胡粉 was sometimes used before the 15c to refer to white lead pigment *enpaku 鉛白.


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