Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Warlord Armour at the Guimet

Yesterday, John and I visited a splendid exhibition of Japanese armour at one of our favourite Paris museums, the Guimet. According to the wall text, the Daimyo (warlords) were wealthy landowners, raised to political power by the Shogun. They ruled individual fiefs from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
From the wall text: "The warrior attire is always presented seated...placed on a chest, in the ohiroma,  the large reception room." Raised on a dais above the "vassals"..."it embodied the presence of the master of the fief while he was away."
This detail of the armour in the centre above (from 1860) features a helmet covered in applied peacock feathers -- power politics at its most exquisite.
This example from 1700 perfectly evokes the powerful seated pose.
17th century
A close-up of a helmet and upper body.
Diagonal view of the classic pose.
End of the 17th century
Detail of the above.
 An 18th century example.
Late 18th century. Could this example say "the boss" more effectively?
We'll leave you with a close-up of one of the more terrifying masks. Blatant political intimidation has never looked better! Show runs until May 14th.


  1. Wow those suits of armour are quite incredible.
    This is a bit of a test comment as I don't think my previous comments this week have gone through.
    trying a different browser now

  2. Your comments are coming through, Lisa! We love this museum. The vast permanent collection always reveals new treasures and special exhibitions are always great.

  3. Beautiful photos of a fascinating subject. Going to look up the Guimet - don't know it.

  4. You will love the Guimet, Nancy! We alays visit. Great special exhibitions and a huge permanent collection that always reveals new surprises.