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Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Swirls


Not on view

While the rendering of the swirl (uzumaki) motif on this unlined kimono is very modern, the spiral, or vortex, pattern has a long history in Japan. It appears on ancient Jōmon pottery (ca. 10,500–ca. 300 B.C.). In the Edo period (1615–1868) small swirl motifs were often used as background in complex compositions depicting rivers. This summer kimono’s large swirls of white on a dark green ground are a blown-up, stylized version of the motif and reflect the influence of Western art and the contemporary Art Deco aesthetic.

Summer Kimono (Hito-e) with Swirls, Printed gauze-weave (ro) silk with twisted wefts, Japan

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