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watercolour, 286 x 386 mm
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
This artwork is featured in Te Papa's Collections Online
Rita Angus painted Waterlilies in her parents’ garden at Waikanae. The work shows her skill in depicting nature. The forms of the lilies are carefully observed, and the watercolour technique is breathtaking.
The water lily also appears in the hands of the goddess Rutu. There, it symbolises the ancient Egyptian civilisation that influenced Angus so greatly. The lily is also a tribute to her goddess: ‘[Rutu] is of the finest of water lilies,’ Angus wrote to Douglas Lilburn, ‘& you know how exquisite that can be.’
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