At the end of the 9th century it was called Suminagashi and was a technique used to decorate pages of waka, a traditional Japanese poetry. Sanjuroku nin Kashu, was a collection of poems by 36 eminent writers, published around 1112, and it represents the earliest known example of Suminagashi.
By the Silk Road, the technique of marbleizing lands in Turkey, with the name of Ebrû. That name is a derivation of a Persian name Ebri (cloudy).
The technique is studied and refined by the Ottoman artists, who had always held the record of the most beautiful papers. From the end of the 16th century, until the 20thcentury, worthy bookbinders had to travel at least once to Constantinople, because the current fashion of that time required that all the publications had to be bound with this kind of paper.
Today, thanks of the studies, researches, meticulous experimentations and trials, this ancient technique lives again in the production of Alberto Valese in Venice.
The magic city, suspended between sky and water, cross-road of different cultures, northern gateway of the Orient, has been the inspired muse of Alberto.
The water of the Lagoon takes on, during the different times of the day, shades of colors, that only the Ebrû technique is able to reproduce.
The artistic path of Alberto Valese begins in Paris, with the discovery of a basic text of 1852. At that time he made the first the first experiments, searching for ingredients as similar as possible to those used in the past and since disappeared.
He had the chance to meet some of the most eminent ebrû-masters in Istanbul. That experience had been fundamental for Alberto and permitted him to master the technique. In fact today he is the only foreign artist recognized as a Master in Turkey. The moment has arrived for Alberto Valese to go through different experimentations like three-dimensional objects (spheres, obelisks, classical heads, capitals). He also tried, to print silk and different fabrics. As for the Ottoman tradition, Alberto has made fascinating sheets of paper with the theme of flowers (tulips, roses and trees).
Absolutely original is the series of fishes that smile. Captured in the liquid element, they are petrified on paper as if they were fossils embedded in primordial seas. The series was welcomed with a great success.