DateLate 19th century
MediumEmbroidered silk on silk
DimensionsImage : 33 1/4 x 25 1/4 in. (84.46 x 64.14 cm)
Frame : 42 1/4 x 34 1/4 in. (1.1 m x 87 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelIn 1882, British architect and designer George Audsley wrote: “The embroiderers of Japan have for centuries held an unrivalled position in their art, surpassing those of all other nations in the combination of richness of fancy, beauty of coloring and skill in manipulation.” Given the pivotal importance of silk in the Meiji economy, it is no surprise that silk textiles occupied a significant place in Meiji art. The finest silk embroideries were produced by workshops in and around the city of Kyoto. They were often sold through department stores, both in Japan and in the West. This embroidered picture of a macaque monkey family derives from traditional Japanese Shijo-school painting, which favored realistic scenes of plants and animals based on close observation of nature.