Chinese Lanterns  or Physalis Alkekengi

The Chinese or Japanese Lantern plant – also known as devils bladder, red winter cherry, and strawberry tomato, the latter presumably being a reference to the shape and colour –  is really fun to paint.  Inside that orange lacy covering is a bright red berry.  Like so many familiar plants, it originated in Asia and the colourful, delicate structure of the lanterns protecting the berry has led to it being associated with life and death.  In Japan, there is a Buddist ceremony  dedicated to this plant which is beleive to assist spirit on their journey to the afterlife.

However the Chinese Lantern is part of the Nightshade family and the berries are toxic.

This painting uses fine Japanese mulberry paper, with traditional black Sumi ink and Chinese water colour paints.   The chop, placed just above the signature using rouge, means  “painting brings peace”.

Size: 330 mm x 440mm.