Re: What is Surimono?

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Posted by Theo de Kreijger on July 23, 1998 at 22:56:22:

In Reply to: What is Surimono? posted by Barb Wisby on July 14, 1998 at 22:21:15:

: I was hoping that someone could tell me what surimono is. Is it just a private issue print? Does the woodblock technique differ from standard woodblock printing. How does one know by looking at the print if it is a surimono print?

Surimono: Small prints that were originally meant to be invitation cards for a gathering at a poetry clubs, mostly in and around Edo (Tokyo). They were designed by many great artists at the beginning of the 19th century and were mostly printed with great care. Surimonos often had a poem on the front and sometimes a hint towards the season (calendars were forbidden). They were privat issues, without censorship seals. They were smaller, the quality of the prints was better and the designs were real examples of minature art. The surimono was the ultimat medium for the artist (designer, woodcutter and printer) to show his mastership. There are several paper sizes known, but a surimono is never bigger then a normal (western) book and seldom smaller then a floppy-disk.

Many of the best surimonos were reprinted, copied and even forged. Some of them as good or perhaps even better printed then the originals.

Hope this is what you wanted to know.

Regards, Theo de Kreijger

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