Ebru paper marbling

Paper marbling (known as ebru) was done in Turkey and Persia in the 16th century. It was thought to have spread from the east through Anatolia from the 13th century but the earliest examples found are late 16th century. This is dated to 1540, as it was dated and signed by the artist himself. It is currently in the Topkapi Saray Museum. There is also one in the same time period in the Brooklyn Museum, though this one is Persian- The marbling is done by swirling oil pigments mixed with ox-gall in a viscose fluid (water with gum tragacanth). The paper is carefully laid on top, which means that every paper with marbling is a unique design. This YouTube clip shows how it is done- And this one- The main problem with dating the ebru paper is that the paper is used to re-bind manuscripts. So while the manuscripts could be 13th century, the binding itself (or the backing of individual pages) could be 17th or even 18th century. This picture is a Persian woman adjusting her aigrette and is dated to 1590. The ebru is a later date. The painting is in the Freer & Sackler Gallery.
Recommended reading
The Art of Marbling on The Ottomans.Org.
Ebru: The Art of Paper Marbling on MuslimHeritage.com.
Ebru (Paper Marbling) by B. Akbal-Delibas.
The Digital Art of Marbled Paper by B. Tevfik Akgun. JStor article.
Ebru: The Cloud Art by Robert Arndt. Via Saudi Aramco World Magazine.

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One comment on “Ebru paper marbling

  1. Carol says:

    Oooo this looks like something our many kids of Cluain can do. Going to do a trial run

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