Red Maple Leaves Floating on the Tatsuta River  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Red Maple Leaves Floating on the Tatsuta River is the title of a supposed legendary painting by Japanese painter Hokusai (1760—1849). The story goes like this: Hokusai is invited to the court of the Shogun Iyenari to compete with another artist who practiced more traditional brush stroke painting. Hokusai's painting, created in front of the Shogun, consisted of painting a blue curve on paper, then chasing across it a chicken whose feet had been dipped in red paint. He described the painting to the Shogun as a landscape showing the Tatsuta River with red maple leaves floating in it, winning the competition.

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