Poem on Imperial Gift of an Embroidered Silk: Calligraphy in Cursive Script Style (xingshu)

Poem on Imperial Gift of an Embroidered Silk: Calligraphy in Cursive Script Style (xingshu)

c. 1525

Wen Zhengming

(Chinese, 1470-1559)

Hanging scroll, ink on paper

Painting only: 343.5 x 93.5 cm (135 1/4 x 36 13/16 in.); Overall with knobs: 698.5 x 124.4 cm (275 x 49 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1998.169

Description

A poem by the influential Wen Zhengming expresses Wen’s gratitude to the Jiajing emperor (reigned 1522–1567) for a gift of embroidered silk bestowed in appreciation of his commendable service. The elegant, well-composed, and energetically written large characters in deep black ink reflect the handwriting of a distinguished scholar-artist.

The poem reads:

As I expressed my gratitude to His Majesty by the Goldwater Bridge.
This heavenly silk is embroidered with five colors.
Resplendent it is, draping over my arm with [designs of] twin dragons.
Having received such a gift, I [bowed] in shame over my lack of achievements.
Humbly I returned to my rank to observe the grand ceremony.
I wish His Majesty shall live on for myriad years,
And the sun will always shine upon His trailing robe.

See also
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Calligraphy

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