A new era in art began in the latter half of the 17th century with the establishment of a popular school under an embroiderers draughtsman named Hishigawa Moronobu (c. I64&- Fourth 1713).
The embroiderers craft has been followed for centuries in Japan with eminent success, but whereas it formerly ranked E b t~ with dyeing and weaving, it has now come to be m rO eay.
But by the new method embroiderers now succeed in producing fabrics which defy all destructive influences except, of course, dirt and decay.
It is curious, for instance, to compare the scanty references to the material marvels of Constantinople which Villehardouin saw in their glory, which perished by sack and fire under his very eyes, and which live chiefly in the melancholy pages of his Greek contemporary Nicetas, with the elaborate descriptions of the scarcely greater wonders of fabulous courts at Constantinople itself, at Babylon, and elsewhere, to be found in his other contemporaries, the later chanson de geste writers and the earlier embroiderers of the Arthurian romances and romans d'aventures.
One and all skilful to a surpassing degree - weavers, embroiderers, potters, painters, engravers, carvers, sculptors and jewellers, - they were wearied by drudgery and overpowered by a never-absent, weird and grotesque theology.
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