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Gallinule with Lotus Flowers by Ohara Koson
Gallinule with Lotus Flowers by Ohara Koson

Gallinule with Lotus Flowers, 1927

Ohara Koson

A close-up view of an enormous pink lotus flower dominates this print. Beneath it, dwarfed or perhaps floating on water a distance away, is a small water bird. The curled leaf in the foreground creates a strong upward diagonal, a plane that the bird, oddly, seems to also inhabit. The lotus flower is revered in Japan for its ability to rise from the dirty, murky waters to bloom into a beautiful pure flower. This process symbolizes attaining enlightenment, a concept that would have been familiar to Japanese viewers.

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Credit
Rijksmuseum
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