Semi-formal Court Robe (Jifu)

Semi-formal Court Robe (Jifu)

late 1700s

Silk: satin weave; silk and metal thread: embroidery

Width across shoulders: 226.1 cm (89 in.); length back of neck to hem: 154.9 cm (61 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1983.32

Description

The lavishly embroidered motifs of dragons, clouds, waves, and rocks on this robe form a diagram that symbolizes the universe: the lower horizontal band of waves at the hem represents the oceans that surround the earth, while the prism-shaped rocks emerging from the waves at the sides, front, and back of the coat symbolize the earth. The cloud-filled firmament above the waves shows dragons—symbols of imperial authority. During the Qing dynasty, yellow indicated “imperial” and the color’s use in garments was reserved for the emperor and his consorts. The emperor would have worn this type of court robe at semi-official meetings at court but not when he performed the official state rituals.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.