5.

Young Chinese painters
might learn the craft by working
on the line at a reproduction house.
There, they churn out several dozen
Mona Lisa’s at once. So it goes,
across the face of Chinese history:
one becomes
many.

6.

Eighty percent of the world’s oil
comes from OPEC countries
but sixty percent of oil
paintings
come from China.
Inside each muggy evening,
copies of the Mona Lisa
flee Shenzhen
in the arms of
western tourists,
twinkling like
red stars,
on every
outbound
flight.

William McGregor Paxton (American, 1969–41)

The New Necklace, 1910
Oil on canvas

Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston