Baju/Banyan Raja's Garment 12323

India, for the Sumatra Market

Cotton; painted mordant and resist dye

Mid 18th Century, ex Japanese Private Collection

54 x 43 inches (137 x 109 cm)

Presented is an exceptionally fine and rare gentleman's house coat known in the West as a banyan and in Indonesia as a baju. It was tailored to the shape of a kimono and was cool in hot climates. It was likely worn by a high ranking raja who would have acquired it through the pepper trade. It was hand painted and resist dyed and displays a pattern that can be seen as a prototype for Javanese batik of a century later. Please note the similarity to the banyan depicted in De Español y Negra, Mulato, 1763, a casta painting by New Spain's (Mexico) greatest 18th Century painter, Miguel de Cabrera. The painting is from the Denver Art Museum, TL-29337.