Chiura Obata’s Rainbow Falls, Inyo National Forest

Selected Artworks from Chiura Obata: American Modern

A watercolor image of a waterfall with a rainbow.

Chiura Obata, Rainbow Falls, Inyo National Forest, 1930, color woodcut on paper, 15 5/8 x 11 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Obata Family, 2000.76.21, © 1989, Lillian Yuri Kodani.

About this Artwork

Obata described his first impressions of this dramatic mountain scenery in letters to his wife, Haruko:

From the skies it seems to come roaring and thundering down, the Yosemite Falls. Its sound echoes and re-echoes back and forth from the high mountains in front, vibrating throughout Yosemite Valley with its marvelous and stupendous music. Upon the tops of the walls of a massive rock, which stands perpendicular beside the fall, are thrown the last brilliant rays of the setting sun.