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The Art of Making Chintz

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Noh Costume (Surihaku) with Water, Water Plants, and Leaves

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
19th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Gold leaf on plain-weave silk
Dimensions:
Overall: 65 x 53 in. (165.1 x 134.6 cm)
Classification:
Costumes
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1958
Accession Number:
58.97.1
  • Description

    Noh robes patterned with metallic leaf are called surihaku, a term also used for the textiles from which they are made. For this robe, the surihaku textile was decorated by applying paste through stencils, placing and pressing gold leaf onto the still-wet paste and finally, when the paste was dry, brushing away the excess gold leaf. Some surihaku robes have static, repetitive patterns, but the artful arrangement of the stencils for this robe yielded a fluid, rhythmic design.

    The conventionalized flowing water beneith the plants is sometimes called kanze mizu (literally, "Kanze water"), a pattern associated with the Kanze troupe of Noh actors. Kanze mizu later became the symbol for a particular Kabuki actor, Sawamura Sōjūrō III, who appears wearing clothing patterened with the motif in a woodblock print (JP2720) by Utagawa Toyokuni.

  • Provenance

    Isaac Delgado Museum of Art

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
61198

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