Owl on magnolia branch
Woodblock print, Japan, 18th century
In Japan, woodblock printing was initially a cheap alternative to traditional painting, however due to the continuous refinement of the technique it developed into a fully-fledged and highly sought after art form in the 18th century.
In Japan, the owl is a very popular bird that symbolises luck and provides protection from suffering. In this print, an owl is perched on a branch of magnolia which, in Hanakotoba (the Language of Flowers) is called 'Love of Nature'.