Chrysanthemums and Horsefly, c. 1833-1834

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Imported from China in the 8th or 9th century, the chrysanthemum (kiku) has been an abiding motif in the work of Japanese poets, painters, and textile designers. The imperial family adopted the chrysanthemum as its official emblem. Hokusai, interestingly, paired his chrysanthemums with a common horsefly (abu), perhaps implying his independence from the flower’s august history.

Chrysanthemums and Horsefly
Artist Life
1760 - 1849
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Ukiyo-e shūka 16 (1981), p. 229, horizontal ōban #23.06
Curator Approved

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