Inspired by early renaissance woodcuts, Frankenthaler set out to create am image that would evoke the rich and transparent qualities of the berry for which this print is titled. In her catalogue raisonné of the prints, Peagram Harrison surmises that the artist chose this extraordinarily thin, yet strong Japanese paper before solidifying the imagery, presumably in response to its rarity and delicacy. After several trial proofs, the resulting edition was printed in eight colors in four runs through the press. Frankenthaler emphasized the unique qualities of this handmade paper both by printing to the edges of the sheet and in her unprecedented decision to leave the lower third of the sheet bare. The dynamic play between boldness and subtlety in both the printed image and the paper itself make Essence Mulberry a masterwork of contemporary printmaking.