Two thousand years of impressions

Two thousand years of paper, two thousand years of impressions, two thousand years of destruction, with two main processes: the paper can move to the text (Eastern tradition) or the text can move to the paper (Western tradition).

In China, the stone or the block (matrix) is fixed firmly on a table. The printer takes a round horsehair inking brush and applies ink with a vertical motion. The paper is then laid on the block and rubbed with a long narrow pad to transfer the impression to the paper. The paper is peeled off and set to dry. Because of the rubbing process, printing is only done on one side of the paper. Further reading on Wikipedia related articles and access to a video with this link:


Weekly transmission 11-2018 presents:

Before paper, 2566 BC: earliest extant papyrus, the Diary of Merer

Before paper, c. 300 BC: bamboo slips, the Book of Laozi

Two thousand years ago, invention of paper in China

175 AD: carved stone books and earliest paper and ink-rubbings

690 AD: did Wu Zetian commission 100,000 printed scrolls ?

July 751 AD: The Battle of Talas near Samarkand, a key event in the history of paper

764 AD: the Empress Kōken commissioned 1,000,000 small printed scrolls

1139 AD : the earliest extant book printed with wooden movable type

July 1377: the earliest extant book printed with movable metal type

March 1455: promotion of the Gutenberg Bible in Frankfurt

1640: the earliest extant book printed in British North America.

1725, the printing of the Chinese Imperial Encyclopaedia

WANG XUE-ZHANG (b. 1953). Three traditional ink rubbings of Luoyang carved inscriptions

Post-scritum by Theophile Bouchet: “A Westerner facing Chinese culture”

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