Emperor’s Poems, in Manchu Language, on Bishu Shanzhuang, the Imperial Summer Mountain Resort: Two Juan


Bishu Shanzhuang, the Imperial Palace Garden of China, was a mountain resort, situated in present-day Chengde, Hebei Province, and was where the Qing emperors resided during the summer and handled affairs. This work in Manchu, which was considered the “national language” throughout the Qing, was written by Emperor Kangxi (1654‒1722, reigned 1662‒1722) and annotated by Nalan Kuixu (circa 1674‒1717) and others. It contains 36 poems depicting 36 scenes of Bishu Shanzhuang. They describe the beautiful scenes of the palace and express the emperor’s noble and lofty emotions. Each poem is followed by an illustration painted by Shen Yu, a treasurer of the Imperial Household Department. The result is a perfect match of poetry and landscape painting, presenting strong literary and artistic characteristics. The work is in two juan. There is a preface by Kangxi, dated 1711, the 50th year of his reign. The preface is followed by the impressions in red of his two seals: Ti yuan zhu ren (his style name used on his seals) and Wan ji yu xia (Brief leisure), which thus provide additional value to this edition.

Last updated: July 27, 2016