Flowers of the Four Seasons

A work made of handscroll; ink on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of handscroll; ink on paper.

Date:

Ming dynasty (1368–1644), 1599

Artist:

Chen Jiayan
Chinese, 1539-1625after

About this artwork

The artist of this softly monochromatic handscroll evokes the passage of time with plants that bloom in sequence throughout the four seasons. The flowers of spring—tree peony, spring cymbidium, astor, peach, iris, and rose—flow into summer, beginning with the white magnolia (yulan) and crab apple (haitang). Together, these last two flowers comprise a rebus or visual pun for the auspicious phrase “yutang fugui:” “wealth and rank in the Jade Hall.” The Jade Hall alludes to the Hanlin Academy, a government bureau where esteemed scholars were appointed to compile documents for the imperial court. The opening section shown here depicts the first three flowers of spring.

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Asian Art

Artist

Chen Jiayan

Title

Flowers of the Four Seasons

Origin

China

Date

1539–1625

Medium

Handscroll; ink on paper

Dimensions

28.5 × 398.0 cm (10 7/8 × 152 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Fund

Reference Number

1951.186

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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