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
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.
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