Southern dynasty

Shen Miaorong 沈妙容

Empress Ande of Chen, known as Shen Miaorong, was the wife of Emperor Wen of the Chen Dynasty. She hailed from Wuxing Commandery and married Chen Qian during the Liang Dynasty. Following the fall of the Liang capital Jiankang to rebel forces in 549, she was arrested along with her husband but later released after Emperor Yuan’s army defeated the rebel leader Hou Jing in 552. When Chen Baxian established the Chen Dynasty and became Emperor Wu, Shen Miaorong was made Princess of Linchuan, and upon Emperor Wu’s death, her husband ascended the throne as Emperor Wen. She was crowned empress, and her son Chen Bozong became crown prince. After Emperor Wen’s death in 566, her son Emperor Fei succeeded to the throne and honored her as empress dowager. However, political turmoil led to her involvement in a rebellion plot, resulting in her being deposed and later honored as Empress Wen by Emperor Xuan. Following the fall of the Chen Dynasty to the Sui Dynasty in 589, she was taken to Chang’an but later returned to Chen territory, where she passed away during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui.

Artist’s Note


Emperor Xuan of Chen 陳宣帝

Emperor Wen of Chen, also known as Chen Qian, was the second emperor of the Chen dynasty in China. He ascended to the throne after the death of his uncle, Emperor Wu, in 559. Chen Qian faced significant challenges as the country had been ravaged by war during the preceding Liang dynasty, and many provinces were under the control of independent warlords. Despite these challenges, he successfully consolidated the state against warlords and expanded Chen’s territory by seizing land from claimants to the Liang throne, greatly strengthening the dynasty.

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