Qianlong Emperor Tribute

Qianlong Emperor Tribute
Qianlong Emperor Tribute
Anonim

On other occasions, such as with the figure of the sculpture of the goddess Kali, we have shown an example of the works of oriental art that the Guimet Museum in Paris treasures. And now we are going to show another of his treasures, but in this case it is a work carried out by a European in Asian territory. We are talking about the large painting en titled The Kazakhs present horses as a tribute to the emperor, made with colors and ink on paper (45 x 269 cm) by the artist Giuseppe Castiglione in the year 1757.

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Qianlong Emperor Tribute

Castiglionewas an Italian painter, originally from Milan who, in addition to being an artist, was a Jesuit, and therefore came as amissionary to Chinaen the year 1715, when he was less than 30 years old. There he soon began to work in thecourt of Qianlong, and without forgetting his own missionary work, he was also making endless paintings. In fact, in some way, it merged its two tasks, something that was very common in the missions of the Society of Jesus that were installed in different parts of the world, from the Far East to the Jesuit missions in South America, such as the one in Alta Gracia in Argentina.

Some works in which you can see how he adapted his European artistic roots to the influence ofChinese art, since after all it was the emperor who paid him and the members of his court

A goodAn example of this is this painting, which combines the typical very elongated format of Chinese tradition with a composition more typical of European schools. We see that the entire width of the paper is occupied by only one scene, while in the usual Chinese narrative pictorial scrolls, it is normal for several episodes of the same plot to appear.

But it's not the only interesting combination of intercontinental styles. Likewise, it can be observed that if we look at the figures, none of them generate any shadow, a trait that is undoubtedly very oriental. But instead the treatment of their faces, or the bodies of the horses, owes much to modeling based on chiaroscuro of European origin. And it is that deep down there is a spirit of naturalistic representation very typical of the West. Although instead he is able to unite that with typically Chinese architecture or the way of painting landscapes that seem to follow the models of that Eastern country.

In short, there is no doubt about the artistic value of works like this one by Giuseppe Castiglione, but in addition to that, it is also highly interesting as a historical testimony of a time that gives us meet distant cultures. And it is that he was very concerned to represent with strict respect to reality certain details of that empire, both in terms of clothing or furniture that marks the social order of the court, as well as in terms of its weapons.

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