鳳凰模様袈裟 Buddhist Priest's Vestment (Kesa) with Phoenix
Edo period (1615–1868)
Silk and metallic thread tapestry
Overall: 44 x 80 in. (111.8 x 203.2 cm)
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1919
Not on view
A spectacular phoenix with cascading tail feathers dominates this large tapestry-like expanse of fabric; below it is a branch of paulownia. As a motif, this fantastic creature reached Japan from China. According to Chinese tradition, the phoenix appears at times of peace and prosperity, singing in a paulownia tree during the just rule of a benevolent emperor. This is a Japanese Buddhist priest’s vestment (kesa), an outer garment usually worn draped over the left shoulder. Traditionally kesa are made of many small pieces sewn together in a configuration of columns. This kesa was woven in one piece; however, the columnar design is indicated with a cord that is sewn to the surface.
[ Nomura Shōjiro 1879–1943 , Kyoto until 1915; sold to Sargent] ; Porter E. Sargent , Boston, MA (until 1919; sold to MMA)
Hartford. Wadsworth Atheneum. "2000 Years of Tapestry Weaving: a Loan Exhibition," December 7, 1951–January 27, 1952.
Baltimore Museum of Art. "2000 Years of Tapestry Weaving: a Loan Exhibition," February 27, 1952–March 25, 2952.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan II," March 22, 2003–September 21, 2003.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds in the Art of Japan," February 2, 2013–July 28, 2013.