Piece from a Robe (Kosode) with Cherry Blossoms and Monkeys with Palanquin
Edo period (1615–1868)
Resist-dyed and painted silk crepe with details embroidered in silk and metallic thread
H. 31 7/8 in. (81 cm); W. 11 7/16 in. (29 cm)
Textiles-Dyed and Embroidered
Purchase, Roy R. and Marie S. Neuberger Foundation Inc. and several members of The Chairman's Council Gifts, 2000 Benefit Fund, and funds from various donors, 2001
Not on view
When the designs of Japanese robes and theatrical costumes evoke scenes from stories, they do so without depicting the actual characters. Inanimate characteristics that provide the setting of a famous episode—landmarks, seasonal flowers, accoutrements associated with characters and events—serve as a shorthand for the entire episode.
This extremely rare piece, a fragment of a garment, is a remarkable exception. Overtly represented here next to a palanquin and under a blossoming cherry tree are two monkeys. Complete with clothing, postures, and facial expressions that suggest relative rank and even personality, the animals are clearly characters in a story. Unfortunately, because the garment is not complete, the story cannot be unambiguously identified; however, this textile probably shows a detail from the story Fujibukuro (The Wisteria Bag), in which monkeys interact with humans. Narrative elements of the story presented in the textile include cherry blossoms, the palanquin, and monkey attendants.
[ Kokon, Inc. , New York, until 2001; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Notable Acquisition of Japanese Textiles of the Edo Period (1615-1868)," June 25, 2003–September 21, 2003.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Storytelling in Japanese Art," November 19, 2011–May 6, 2012.
Artist: Date: second half of the 17th century Accession Number: 1980.222 Date: second half of the 17th centuryMedium: Silk and metallic thread embroidery with resist dyeing on satin damaskAccession: 1980.222On view in:Not on view
Artist: Date: late 18th century Accession Number: 2003.177 Date: late 18th centuryMedium: Painted and printed gold and silver leaf and opaque watercolor on indigo-dyed cottonAccession: 2003.177On view in:Gallery 243
Artist: Date: early 17th century Accession Number: 1992.253 Date: early 17th centuryMedium: Embroidery and gold leaf on plain-weave silk patterned with warp floatsAccession: 1992.253On view in:Not on view
Artist: Date: 18th century Accession Number: 2001.428.24 Date: 18th centuryMedium: Resist-dyed and painted (yūzen) silk crepe with details embroidered in silk and metallic threadAccession: 2001.428.24On view in:Not on view
Artist: Date: second half of the 18th century Accession Number: 2001.428.28a, b Date: second half of the 18th centuryMedium: Paste-resist dyed and painted silk crepe embroidered with silk and metallic thread
Accession: 2001.428.28a, bOn view in:Not on view