Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Song of One Year

Tang Yin (Chinese, 1470–1524)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
dated 1522
Folding fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on gold-flecked paper
Image: 6 13/16 x 19 5/8 in. (17.3 x 49.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward Elliott Family Collection, Douglas Dillon Gift, 1988
Accession Number:
Not on view
Signature: Poem: Song of One Year (title and poem in 27 lines of fluid running script)
Three hundred sixty days in one year,
Ninety days each in spring, summer, autumn, winter;
Winter's chill and summer's heat are hardest to bear,
Cold like a knife, hot like a burn;
Spring's third month and autumn's ninth are said to be warm.
But with warm weather, wind and rain are frequent.
Calculating carefully, in one year good days are few,
An additional difficulty is finding good scenery;
Suppose you do happen upon beautiful scenery on a fine day,
There is still the matter of an appreciative heart and a pleasant time.
Don't burn tall candles reflecting in goblets of fragrant wine;
That is also the empty life in the world of men.
The ancients have words that get to the point,
Urging people to grasp candles and make merry through the night:
"A quarter of an hour of a spring evening is worth a thousand
string of cash."
I say "Even with a thousand, you can't buy it back."

"Written on Day for Mankind (the 7th day of the first lunar month) in Jiajing reign renwu (1522). [Signed] Tang Yin of Wu prefecture composed poem and painting".

(Alfreda Murck, modified)

Affixed to left of the calligraphy are three artist's seals:
1. Nanjing jie yüan (rectangular, relief)
2. Chanxian (rectangular intaglio)
3. Tang Ziwei (square, relief)

The small seal below, [ ]-shi might also be Tang Yin's, but is not identified.

Marking: A square relief seal in the lower right corner reading "Shen Wu shending" may belong to a relative of Shen Guoqi, a 19th century collector.
Douglas Dillon , New York, 1988; donated to MMA ; Edward Elliott , by 1988, to Dillon
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Peach Blossom Spring," November 21, 1983–June 3, 1984.

Related Objects

A Page from the Jie Zi Yuan

Artist: Original by Tang Yin (Chinese, 1470–1524) Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: CP8 On view in:Not on view

A Page from the Jie Zi Yuan

Artist: Original painted by Tang Yin (Chinese, 1470–1524) Medium: Circular fan-shaped woodblock print; ink and color on paper Accession: CP19 On view in:Not on view

Beauty Sleeping on a Banana Leaf

Artist: Attributed to Tang Yin (Chinese, 1470–1524) Medium: Handscroll; ink on silk Accession: 47.18.129 On view in:Not on view

Landscape for Zhao Yipeng

Artist: After Tang Yin (Chinese, 1470–1524) Date: late 15th–early 16th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk Accession: 67.6.1 On view in:Not on view

Drunken Fisherman by a Reed Bank

Artist: Tang Yin (Chinese, 1470–1524) Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 1989.363.55 On view in:Not on view