Handscroll; ink and color on silk
Overall: 53.8 x 1154.5 cm (21 3/16 x 454 1/2 in.); Painting only: 53 x 688.3 cm (20 7/8 x 271 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1969.31
Lingfei 令妃 (1727–1775), the first consort depicted in the maroon or “incense-colored" 香色 robe, was the mother of six of Qianlong’s children, including the future Emperor Jiaqing.
This portrait shows the Qianlong emperor at 26, in the first year of his reign. His likeness is followed by portraits of the empress and eleven consorts. The first three portraits were done by the Jesuit (Roman Catholic) missionary artist Giuseppe Castiglione.
Under Qianlong, the empire expanded and Jiangnan reached a height of economic and cultural prosperity. While the southern region served in many ways as a model for garden culture, the arts, and special crafts, in return it profited and received new stimulus from the court and its culture in the north.
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