Lotus Flowers

Lotus Flowers - Body

Look closely

Woodblock print featuring a white lotus flower with big white petals and green leaves.

Lotus, 1633, ink and color on paper. From the Ten Bamboo Studio Manual of Calligraphy and Painting 竹齋書畫譜, compiled and edited by Hu Zhengyan 胡正言. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Pink, white and yellow blooming lotus flower.

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in the Lily Ponds, 2015. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

A teal and lime green vertical bar on the left that says “Time to sort!” with a light green and light purple venn diagram in the middle where one circle says “Lotus,” one says “Sacred lotus,” and the middle says “Both.”

Review the terms that describe both images. Which facts go in the same area of the diagram? Which facts go in each different area of the diagram?

  • Petals
  • Woodblock print
  • Lives very long
  • Blossoms
  • 1633
  • Grows in water
  • Two-dimensional
  • Pink, yellow, white
  • Flower
  • "Ten Bamboo Studio Manual of Calligraphy and Painting"
  • The Huntington's collection
  • Three-dimensional
  • Lily Ponds
  • Buds
  • Ming dynasty
  • "Nelumbo nucifera"
  • Photograph
  • Ink and color on paper

A teal and lime green vertical bar on the left that says “Answers” with a light green and light purple venn diagram in the middle where one circle says “Lotus,” one says “Sacred lotus,” and the middle says “Both” and the answers listed in each.

Answers

"Lotus"

  • Ink and color on paper
  • 1633
  • "Ten Bamboo Studio Manual of Calligraphy and Painting"
  • Woodblock print
  • Two-dimensional
  • Ming dynasty

Both

  • Flower
  • Petals
  • Lives very long
  • The Huntington's collection
  • Blossoms

Sacred lotus

  • Lily Ponds
  • Grows in water
  • Photograph
  • Pink, yellow, white
  • Three-dimensional
  • "Nelumbo nucifera"
  • Buds

Learn about the lotuses

Woodblock print featuring a white lotus flower with big white petals and green leaves.

  • This illustration of a lotus flower is a woodblock print in the Ten Bamboo Studio Manual of Calligraphy and Painting. This book was made almost 400 years ago!
  • The artist shows a lotus flower, but there’s no background. Why do you think the background is blank?
  • It took 14 years for this book to be created. It was a collaborative project, which means it was made by many different artists, calligraphers, writers, and printers who all worked together.
  • Zoom in to this artwork.
Pink, white and yellow blooming lotus flower.

  • Lotuses grow in two gardens at The Huntington: the Lily Ponds and the Chinese Garden. This pink sacred lotus can be found in the Lily Ponds.
  • The Lily Ponds are also home to ducks, koi, frogs, and turtles.
  • When a lotus blooms, the petals can open as wide as 9 inches! You can use a ruler to see how long this is.
  • Lotuses always grow in water. The roots and part of the stems grow underwater. Part of the stems, the flower, leaves, and seeds grow above water.
  • Zoom in to this photograph.

Questions

  • What did you notice about object 1, Lotus?
  • What did you notice about object 2, sacred lotus?
  • How are they the same?
  • How are they different?
  • What did you learn?
  • Which lotus do you like best? Why?

Activity

Mindful Moment with a Lotus

Materials: Music (optional)

Time: 5 minutes

Steps:

  1. Make sure you are seated in a comfortable position. Relax your head, neck, and shoulders. Rest your hands on your lap, a table, or someplace comfortable.
  2. Let’s start by taking three deep breaths in and out.
  3. Now imagine you are down by the Lily Ponds at The Huntington. You see the vibrant green colors of the grass. Reach out and touch the grass. What does it feel like? Soft? Wet? Scratchy?
  4. Now take a deep breath in with your nose. What does the air smell like? Sweet? Crisp? Fresh? Think about all the different smells as you continue to breathe in and out, in and out.
  5. Let’s move our attention to the lotus flower bobbing in the water. You see the bright orange koi swimming in the water and the splash of a turtle. Imagine you are the lotus anchored in the water. You are attached to the bottom mud in the water, but your arms or petals can sway in the wind. Slowly and carefully move your body to the wind. You can rock back and forth and side to side.
  6. Now slow your body and come back to stillness. Take in one final deep breath and exhale like the lotus flower opening and blooming. Slowly open your eyes. Thank you for taking this mindful moment.

We would love to see your work!

Please take a picture of your Venn diagram. Then post it on social media and tag The Huntington! #LearnAtTheH