Geese and Reeds


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 228

It is near the end of autumn and three geese have alighted on a sandbank, indicated only by faint washy brushstrokes, with drier, darker strokes delineating withered reeds at the water’s edge. One goose is at rest while the others crane their necks to call at the sky, perhaps signaling to others in their flock who have begun their journey south. Introduced from China in the 1200s, the subject of geese and reeds was popular among Zen artist-monks, as it alluded not only to the seasonal change from late autumn to early winter, but also to the passage of time and the rhythms of life.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

Geese and Reeds, Hanging scroll; ink on paper, Japan

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