frangipani: old map of Southeast Asia (Nusantara)
frangipani ([personal profile] frangipani) wrote in [community profile] steampunk_nusantara2010-04-04 01:59 am
Entry tags:

For the scanning queue: Ink sketches

Item is a series of ink sketches on heavy paper, rectangular in size, with one ragged edge, probably torn off a longer scroll of paper. The sketches were drawn in carbon-based ink with a nibbed writing implement, and the paper was manufactured from woodpulp.

Length: approx. 46cm
Width: 30cm

There are six sketches altogether. The centrepiece is a sketch of a man with his eyes closed, lying on his right side, cushioning his head with an arm. The sketch peters off just below his sternum, and a patterned cloth covers his shoulders. He is, presumably, asleep. His features are loosely rendered, though the artist paid meticulous detail to the fabric pattern. There is some argument as to the exact influences shaping the style of the artwork, among the hypotheses being Pattachitra and early Ming-era paintings. A minority further opined that the floral pattern of the cloth bears some meaning related to the subject of the sketch.

Far more interesting is the sketch above the centrepiece, about a third larger than the first, towards the upper right-hand corner. It appears to be a diagram of a combustion engine. Given that the sketch of the engine is not as elaborately detailed as the fabric in the first sketch, it is likely plans for the engine were still at the theoretical stage when this drawing was made. The subjects of the other four sketches, surrounding the centrepiece, are also mechanical in nature and likely to be be parts of the combustion engine. Given that the same nib and ink were used for all sketches, the engine sketches were almost definitely drawn contemporaneously with the sketch of the sleeping man.

Frustratingly, there are no notations to the sketches and no writing with which to assist us in identifying the artist. Tests indicate that the paper dates back to the late 1400s.