白繻子地檜垣桜模様小袖 Robe (Kosode) with Cherry Blossoms and Cypress Fence
Edo period (1615–1868)
second half of the 17th century
Silk and metallic thread embroidery with resist dyeing on satin damask
53 x 53 1/2 in. (134.6 x 135.9 cm)
Purchase, Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Gift, 1980
Not on view
The design on this rare kosode (garment with small sleeve openings), with its pattern of cherry blossoms, a fence, and carriage wheels, is an example of the bold, largely diagonal compositions that appeared beginning in the mid-seventeenth century. The donation of precious garments to Buddhist temples has been a common practice throughout much of Japanese history, and these gifts of clothing were often transformed into Buddhist altar cloths (uchishiki) and vestments (kesa). This kosode’s past is unknown, but it has been remade, and its slightly incomplete form suggests that it may once have been an altar cloth.
[ James Freeman , Bangkok, TH, until 1980; sold to MMA]
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. "Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," October 20, 2015–January 22, 2017.