Geese Returning Home

노안도 (蘆雁圖)

Overall: 182.9 x 49.6 cm (72 x 19 1/2 in.); Painting only: 102.9 x 32.7 cm (40 1/2 x 12 7/8 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

In Korea, the word for geese in a grove of reeds, noan, has the same pronunciation as the word for "the comfortable life at old age." With this double meaning for a happy life, the motif of returning geese gained popularity in paintings.


In this hanging scroll, wild geese are portrayed engaging in different activities: descending to a marsh, gathering in flocks, grazing on plants, and dipping their heads under the water. In Korean paintings, images of geese serve as the symbol of seasonal change because they migrate from northern areas such as Siberia to stay in the Korean Peninsula during the late fall and winter.
Geese Returning Home

Geese Returning Home


Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

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