An Elaborately Hand Painted Child's Kimono Panel: 19th Century Hemp

$90.00 USD

ca. mid nineteenth century
40" x 11 1/4", 101.5 cm x 28.5 cm

This is a panel of extremely deftly woven, hand plied hemp or ramie which is lightweight and beautifully soft in the hand; it has a marvelous drape.  The hemp or ramie fibers are hair-thin, which is the reason that this joufu, or superior quality asa cloth, is as remarkable as it is.   This panel was taken from a child's kimono: imagine what this garment looked like in its original form!

Add to that the complex and masterful hand painted scene of three frolicking Chinese boys set against an elaborate landscape which features a remarkably sculptural, large rock formation and a delicate, budding tree.  A very charming scene, and one that is rich, full and beautifully realized using deft brushwork and very few colors.  

The image of roly poly Chinese boys is a recurring motif in Chinese ceramic painting; they are symbols of high minded Confucian, Taoist or Buddhist values that concern long life, abundance and the like, but they are also wishes for a family rich in many sons.

The cloth of this linen-like fragment is beautifully wrinkled from time, the wrinkles seem to be set in the cloth.  There is some soft, overall patina to the surface, which is to be expected.

Fascinating and beautifully hand painted.  A gorgeous taste of old Japan.