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Deer among pine trees

"Changsong wulu" 長松五鹿, hanging scroll by Dai Jin 戴進 (1388-1462)

Image credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei





Pines, long and lush, shine against a duet of springs;

A herd of David’s deer completes all Five Blessings.[2]

No dust rises in the silence of rocks and wilderness,

Only then [do I] realise the presence of immortal beings on this earthly land.


Inscribed by [Wen] Zhengming (1470-1559) on the painting by Jing’an

[1] Red characters rhyme.

[2] There are many theories about the Five Blessings (for example, are they longevity, wealth, peace, virtue, and harmonious relationships?). In the given context, it is most likely that this expression is chosen to match the number of deer in the painting, so the exact meaning of the Five Blessings is rather peripheral.

Three roe deer wandering near a pine grove in Lower Austria.


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