Over Robe (Uchikake) with Bamboo

Gion Nankai Japanese

Not on view

This rare uchikake is the work of Gion Nankai, a well-known poet and painter of the early Nanga (Literati) movement, which had roots in Chinese painting traditions and Confucian studies. Bamboo, vividly painted here in light and dark ink enhanced with a mist of gold powder, was a favored subject of Nanga artists who were largely based in the Kyoto area. Karakane Kōryū (1675–1738), a merchant and literary scholar from Izumi Sano (present- day Osaka), commissioned this over robe 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, thereby establishing its provenance.

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

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