Sappanwood: Ukiyo-e colorant

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The Tenth Month by Suzuki Harunobu

Sappanwood 蘇芳(suo): A red dye extracted from any of several tropical trees of the senna genus, Caesalpinia, such as C. brasiliensis (from Brazil), C. crista (from Pernambuco), C. echinata (peachwood from Nicaraugua), or C. sappan (sappanwood from East Indies and Asia). Its principal colorant is Brasilin, a hydroxyanthraquinone, that gives a deep red to brownish color when it is oxidized to form brasilein.

Sappanwood has been detected but the use of it appears to have been infrequent. Due to its sensitivity to pH, sappanwood can be manipulated to produce a range of colors as pink, red, or oranges. It is unknown if printers adjusted the pH to create a range of colors. Evidence of pH manipulation is difficult to extrapolate from the prints themselves since many of the examples have discolored to a dull pinkish brown due to fading and/or ageing.

For more information see: Sappanwood

Examples of Sappanwood in Ukiyo-e Prints

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

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Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu


Analysis

Excitation Emission Matrix (EEM) spectroscopy can easily identify the organic reds: safflower, madder, and sappanwood. Sappanwood does not fluoresces under UVA radiation and produces a unique EEM pattern....


Other Images of Sappanwood


List of Prints

Below is a list of prints where sappanwood was detected.

Pages in category "Sappanwood: Ukiyo-e colorant"

The following 35 pages are in this category, out of 35 total.