Kirikane

Kirikane
Kirikane: Cut-gold. Metal leaf, haku, generally gold or silver, cut into long, thin strips, or, triangular, square, and lozenge shapes systematically arranged to form lines or a decorative pattern on sculptures and paintings. Exquisite use of kirikane is often found in the decoration of the robes of Buddhist images. Kirikane is found on the late 7th century "Four Guardian Kings" Shitenno in the Golden Hall, Kondo of Houryuuji Temple and on the 8 century "Four Guardian Kings" at Toudaiji Temple. The kirikane technique was popular in the late Heian-era for both sculpture and painting. An outstanding example from this period is the 12th century painting of Bodhisattava Kokuuzo in the Tokyo National Museum. In the early 13th century (Kamakura-era) examples of the designs became more delicate and complicated, but often conventional and stylized. Since the mid-13th century gold outlines tended to be drawn in gold paint (kindei), and thereafter the use of kirikane declined.