Quatrain on Snow-covered West Lake

Emperor Lizong Chinese

Not on view

This fan is not dated, but the style of the writing is very close to that of Lizong's inscription accompanying Landscape at Sunset (Nezu Museum, Tokyo), a painting by the court artist Ma Lin (active ca. 1180–after 1256) that is dated 1254. The poem probably describes the scenery around West Lake in Hangzhou, the capital of the Southern Song dynasty:

On the lake, a bright frozen mist lingers;
On the lake, brilliant sights beckon.
From the pavilion, I gaze at the mountain peaks;
The color of snow and a hazy vapor shine in my

(Wen C. Fong, trans., in Beyond Representation:
Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 8th-14th Century
[New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
1992], p. 239)

Quatrain on Snow-covered West Lake, Emperor Lizong (Chinese, 1205–64, r. 1224–64), Round fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on silk, China

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