A Length of Elaborately Rendered Phoenixes: Katazome Dyed Cotton

$90.00 USD

late nineteenth century
28" x 14", 71 cm x 35.5 cm

This short length of indigo dyed cotton katazome cloth shows a complex, elaborately rendered repeat pattern of phoenixes and paulownia leaves. Rust colored highlights which are seen throughout the pattern are the result of the application of bengara a kind of iron oxide-derived pigment dye.

The image is rendered in a completely linear fashion so the overall effect is delicate and, in a way, transparent. The phoenixes are shown with paulownia leaves as the two are associated: the paulownia tree is the only terrestrial mount that the mythical and celestial creature will alight upon on the rare times it ventures to the earthly plane.

The pattern is dense and you almost have to squint to make out the images. Still--or for this reason--the repeated design is wonderful to look at.

Just beautiful.