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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    late 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted, ribbed and cut velvet

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the Meiji period (1868-1912), elaborate velvet pictures such as this panel were made in Japan for both the export and domestic markets. They were produced by first painting an image onto woven but uncut velvet. Some areas were then cut, producing tufted pile, but most areas were left as horizontal ridges. This velvet picture is of the Yomei-mon gate of the Tôshôgû shrine at Nikkô. The shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616), the first Tokugawa shôgun, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan.

Physical description

Cut and painted velvet picture panel of the Yomei-mon gate of the Tôshôgû shrine at Nikkô.

The family crest (mon) of the Tokugawa clan appears on the pedestal lamps flanking the main staircase, which dominates the foreground of the picture. Immediately behind is the main gate of the shrine.

The velvet pile is reserved for the principal elements of the buildings and for the pine trees; detail features have been subsequently painted in, either on the pile or the ribbed ground.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


late 19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted, ribbed and cut velvet


Length: 66.5 cm, Width: 61 cm, Length: 26.5 in, Width: 24 in

Descriptive line

Velvet picture panel, Japan, late 19th century


Textiles; Wall coverings; Architecture


East Asia Collection

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