You Xiaoxi (late 19th-early 20th century), Shanghai, to 1917 
From 1917 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from You Xiaoxi in 1917 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Original Kakemono and Makimono List, L. 1210, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
 See note 1.
 The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
You Xiaoxi (C.L. Freer source) late 19th-early 20th century
Like many ancient legends, Writing a Poem on a Crimson Leaf has several versions, each with minor differences in detail. The main story takes place in the ninth century during the Tang dynasty (618–907) and concerns a court lady who writes a love poem on a red leaf. She then sets it afloat on the waterway that flows out of the palace. The man who finds the red leaf writes a poem in which he echoes his own longing for love, and he sends the leaf and the poems floating back to the palace. Of course, the same court lady chances upon the leaf and cherishes its poems. Later freed from her obligations to the imperial court, the lady is allowed to marry. On her wedding night, she happily discovers that her groom is the very man who wrote a love poem on her treasured red leaf. “Writing a poem on a crimson leaf” became a metaphor in Chinese literature to describe a happy marriage destined by fate.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
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