Overrobe (Uchikake) with Bamboo, Gion Nankai (Japanese, 1677–1751), Ink and gold powder on silk satin, Japan

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.
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings of the Nanga School," January 27, 1990–May 13, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Kosode: Dress, Art and Society in Japan, 1600–1868," November 15, 1992–February 7, 1993.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Immortals and Sages: Fusuma Paintings from Ryoan-Ji and the Lore of China in Japanese Art," 1993.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art (Part One)," October 12, 1995–April 28, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Blossoms of Many Colors: A Selection from the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art," March 21, 2000–August 9, 2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan II," March 22, 2003–September 21, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.