The peach petals would like to stay,
But moon and wind blow them on.
You won’t find those ancient men,
Those dynasties are dead and gone.
Day by day the blossoms fall,
Year by year the people go.
Where the dust blows through these heights,
There once shone a silent sea.
Translated: A. S. Kline
Image: Snow Accumulated in Cold Mountains - Wu Wei (1459-1508), Ming dynasty, National Palace Museum
Description of the painting from The National Palace Museum: ” Wu Wei (style name Shiying, sobriquet Xiaoxian) was a native of Wuchang in Hubei. He excelled at painting figures and landscapes. After Dai Jin (1388-1462), he was the most important Zhe school painter. During the Chenghua and Hongzhi reigns, he served at the court and was awarded the title “First in Painting.”
This work depicts a scene of mountains covered with snow, the brushwork extremely strong and unrestrained, and the “flying white” broken ink lines and method of using blank areas effectively creating the idea of a realm of withered forests in a severe winter along with desolation and bleakness. The bent and huddled figure of the lofty scholar holding a staff makes his way along as he strives against the gusts of cold wind, as if echoing the metaphor of proceeding despite adversity?”
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