Peonies and Canary


Peonies and Canary
Print   (Part of the set: Masterpiece Ukiyo-e Collection - Part 2)



Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


Titled Shakuyaku to Kanaari (芍薬とカナリヤ, "Peonies and Canary"), this kacho-ga (bird and flowers) print is from an untitled series known as "Small Flowers" by Hokusai. As the title suggests, the print depicts a canary surrounded by herbaceous peonies. The deep Prussian blue background is absolutely a highlight of the print, as is the depiction of the peonies from different angles. Tiny white dots and lines have been carefully printed on the wings of the canary, showing the skill of the printer.

The inscription, from a Chinese poem by the politician and scholar Wang Shipeng (1112–1171) about the herbaceous peony, reads: "The many-leaved Yangzhou variety at spring's height reigns supreme over the multitude of aromas" (translation by Tim Clark).

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