Art/ Collection/ Art Object

白繻子地墨竹図打掛 祇園南海筆
Overrobe (Uchikake) with Bamboo

Gion Nankai (Japanese, 1677–1751)
Edo period (1615–1868)
first half of the 18th century
Ink and gold powder on silk satin
Overall: 64 3/4 x 48 7/8 in. (164.5 x 124.2 cm) Sleeve length: 37 3/4 in. (95.9 cm); sleeve width: 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm)
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
This rare uchikake is the work of Gion Nankai, a well-known poet and artist of the early Nanga movement. Bamboo, vividly painted here in light and dark ink and enhanced with a mist of gold powder, was a favored theme of Nanga artists, who were largely based in the Kyoto area and often had backgrounds in Confucian studies and Chinese literati theory.

Karakane Kōryū (1675–1738), a merchant and literary scholar from Izumi Sano (in present-day Osaka), commissioned this bamboo overrobe for one of his concubines; it was thereafter treasured as a family heirloom. In 1824, on the occasion of the marriage of one of Kōryū's great-granddaughters, the literati poet Rai San'yō (1780–1832) wrote a laudatory kanshi (a poem written entirely in Chinese characters) about the unsigned garment, thus securing its pedigree.
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