Exhibitions/ Art Object

Man’s Morning Gown (Banyan or Rock)

early 18th century
India (Coromandel Coast), for the Dutch market
Cotton, (painted resist and mordant, dyed)
center back length: 54.3 in (138 cm); width: 75.75 in (192 cm)
Credit Line:
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Not on view
Tailored from Indian chintz, the painted pattern of pine trees and prunus blossoms on a red ground consciously imitates the type of pattern that would be found on a Japanese kimono. Unlike most garments tailored from chintz to European requirements, which are cut from lengths of repeat-patterned cottons, this fabric was painted onto cloth shaped expressly to be made into a banyan. The floral borders on the sleeves and front opening are integral to the fabric, not stitched on later. In the late seventeenth century the wearing of a man’s Oriental-style silk morning gown became de rigueur in Europe. The great demand for gowns spurred the commission of painted cotton versions, such as this example, from India’s Coromandel Coast.
Miss. Elinor Merrell (b. 1895 - d. 1993), New York, by 1927 Purchased by the current owner from the above, 1960