Born in Anhui Province, Hu Zhengyan moved to Nanjing in 1619 and established the Ten Bamboo Studio, which served not only as an academic publishing house but also as a meeting place for like-minded artists. Located just to the north of the National Academy in Nanjing, the Ten Bamboo Studio catered heavily to the academic market, producing countless academic and medical texts and primers like the Shi Zhu Zhai. These were some of China’s first publications printed in color, using a technique called assorted block printing. This method was lengthy, painstaking work, often requiring over thirty different blocks and up to seventy impressions to create a single image. The results, however, were breathtaking.
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