Exhibitions/ Art Object

Man’s Morning Gown (Banyan)

mid-18th century
India, for the French market
Cotton (printed and painted resist and mordant, dyed) with applied gold leaf, silk lining
height: 55.9; width: 67.7 in (142 x 172 cm)
Credit Line:
Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of the Textile Arts Club
Not on view
The Indian palampore-inspired floral designs on this cotton fabric are more typically seen in expensive French dress silks of the mid-eighteenth century. The surface of the cotton, produced in India for the French market, is enlivened by labor-intensive gilding and burnishing, elevating the cotton to an exotic luxury fabric. This outfit would have been reserved for private encounters and the gold leaf would have glittered in a candle-lit room. The matching banyan and waistcoat are exhibited together here for the first time since the two pieces were purchased by different museums almost eighty years ago.