4 facts about Ma Lin

By Gwylym Owen

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Ma Lin (simplified Chinese: 马麟; traditional Chinese: 馬麟; pinyin: Mǎ Lín; Wade–Giles: Ma Lin) (ca. 1180 – after 1256) was a Chinese court painter during the Song dynasty swift during the in advance to mid 13th century. He was the son of the famous Chinese painter Ma Yuan, from whom he teacher the art of painting.

One of his best known paintings is Night Outing past Candles, which depicts a gentleman sitting in the doorway of a pavilion, facing four pairs of high candles amid flowering crab apple trees. It illustrates a poem by the famous (dissident poet and artist) Su Shi: “My distress is that in the depths of night, the flowers will slip asleep and depart, so I well-ventilated the tall candles to illuminate their red beauty.”. A full moon in the aerate overhead confirms its nighttime setting.

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