Quatrain on spring’s radiance

Empress Yang Meizi Chinese

Not on view

During the Southern Song, artists and connoisseurs who wished to express their emotional responses to paintings frequently added poems to them. Empress Yang's poems appear on a number of paintings by such court artists as Ma Yuan (active ca. 1190–1225) and Ma Lin (active ca. 1180–after 1256); this quatrain must once have complemented a fan painting of flowers, but it reveals more about the state of mind of the empress than about the lost painting it accompanied:

My makeup worn and faded, only the scent lingers;
Still I shall enjoy spring's beauty before my eyes.
Once you said to me, how a year blooms quickly
and as quickly dies!
Might we now forsake worldly splendors for the
land of wine?

#7382. Quatrain on Spring's Radiance

Quatrain on spring’s radiance, Empress Yang Meizi (Chinese, 1162–1232), Round fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on silk, China

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