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Exhibitions/ Art Object

Summer Robe with Plovers above Sandbars and Flowering Plants

Edo period (1615–1868)
first half of the 18th century
Ramie, paste-resist dyed
Overall: 59 x 44 1/2 in. (149.9 x 113 cm)
Credit Line:
John C. Weber Collection
Not on view
Hidden within the collar of this robe is an inscription labeling it as “very precious, high quality” cloth, attesting to the esteem accorded it at the time of production. The landscape scene of sandbars, flowering plants, and plovers concentrated on the lower half of this garment is a composition typical of the first half of the eighteenth century. Pattern books of this period are filled with designs inspired by Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), giving rise to the term “Kōrin-motif” (Kōrin moyō). For instance, on this summer robe the chrysanthemum blossoms are expressed as circular outlines with large dots for centers, and stylized water patterns resemble a fanciful eddy. While the seasons associated with motifs on this garment range from summer through early winter, the bast-fiber material from which it is made renders it suitable for summer wear.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.