White Butterfly



Dimensions: 47 x 47 cm (W x H)
Type: Original
Medium: Painting

Acrylic on wood, deep black frame. ready to hang

The White butterfly is the beautiful Japanese story of an old man called Takehama, who he had come from a distinguished family but had chosen to live in a humble house on cemetery grounds.

His sister & nephew would come to visit him and keep an eye on him as he aged and one day when they came he was mortally ill.

As Takemaha fell asleep a little white butterfly flew around him & rested on his pillow. The nephew kept shooing the butterfly away and it kept landing back on his pillow. As he drew his last breath the butterfly flew out of the house. Knowing it could be a sign, the nephew followed the butterfly, which rested on the old, and moss covered grave of a young woman called Akiko who had died 60 years earlier. The grave was well tended and had fresh flowers. As the nephew looked at the butterfly she vanished.

The nephew walked back to his mother to tell him what he had seen. His mother closed her eyes and asked the name on the grave. When he said the name she told him the story of his Uncle who had been engaged to Akiko;

Takehama and Akiko had been very much in love and were to be married, but she had died before the wedding day. Takehama could not bear to be separated from her and had given up a promising career to move to the cemetery to be near her & tend her grave. This must have been the first day he had missed tending her grave in those 60 years and Akiko had come to look in on him. She stayed until his soul was ready to leave with hers.

As Takehama was faithful to Akiko in life, she was to him in death.

My painting features flowers, Akiko, A pomegranate which is a symbol of life and abundance, and a vortex of stars which feature so often in my work as a symbol of souls, life and the great unknown.

See more works by Michelle Sanger

Michelle Sanger Whitebutterfly

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