The exceptional length of this cloth—more than seven feet—suggests its possible use as part of a waistband (obi). Indian sarasa was particularly popular in the Edo period (1615–1868) for obi and robe (kosode) linings. Although the fabric was made in India, the repeating pattern of regularly spaced rosettes and roundels was based on Japanese sources. The motifs evoke Japanese Buddhist iconography—the lotus and the wheel—as well as the traditional chrysanthemum. This type of design is present in late eighteenth-century Japanese sarasa manuals published in Edo and Kyoto. These manuals, with color directives that encouraged Japanese textile printers to copy the Indian designs, confirm that sarasa were widely circulated even before such publications appeared.
[ Thomas Murray , Mill Valley, CA, until 2010; sold to MMA]
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: first quarter of the 18th century Accession Number: 2010.337 Date: first quarter of the 18th centuryMedium: Cotton (painted resist and mordant, dyed)Accession: 2010.337On view in:Not on view