shikishi 色紙
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Thick colored square sheets of paper used for calligraphic poems or paintings. During the mid-Heian and Kamakura periods, such papers, termed *shikishigata 色紙形, were inscribed with poetic calligraphy and attached to the upper portions of screens or sliding door panels. Their verses coordinated with the paintings to which they were affixed. Later, shikishi came to be used independently for calligraphy and paintings. There are two standards sizes: the larger 19.4 x 17 cm. and the smaller 18.2 x 16 cm Today an even larger size, 27.3 x 24.2 cm, is popular. Often these squares are highly decorated with mica or colored patterns overlaid with gold or silver cut into small pieces or sprinkled like dust.


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