Oil on Canvas, 48" x 72", 2020
Orchid: Neofinetia falcata
Native Range: China, Japan, Korea
Conservation Status: Unkown
“Loyalty, respect and hard work, principles that form the cornerstones of modern Japanese society were forged by a group of highly disciplined warriors called the samurai. As ferocious fighters beginning in the 12th century, through the late 1860s, making up the ruling military class, the samurai were both feared and revered.
As tough and threatening as they were, it is rumored that in Japan’s Edo period some 400 years ago, the samurai searched the mountainsides for an orchid. They delivered this orchid, Neofinetia falcata, to Japan’s longest serving shogun, Shogun Tokugawa Ienari, who was in love with the plant’s beauty.
With flowers the size of your thumbnail, the orchids, called Samurai Orchids or Wind Orchids, garnered so much respect that only the ruling class of Japan were permitted to own them.
The plants were so esteemed that peasants who presented an exceptionally fine specimen to the elite might be granted their own estate.
Historically, this orchid is thought by many to be the first orchid ever to be grown as a house plant, the practice dating back as far as the 1600s in Japan.
According to the American Orchid Society, today the Samurai Orchid, it is one of the world’s highest-priced orchids (depending upon the rarity of each variety) with a history of some plants selling for $100,000 or more.
In my painting “Samurai Wind”, pristine blooms graphically march across a rainbow backdrop, symbolizing the orchid’s colorful past and nature’s powerful vital presence.”