Trivium Art History
The Artists

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧1688 — 1766

A Jesuit missionary paints the emperor of China

Portrait of Lady Hoja, 1760

A Jesuit missionary paints the emperor of China

Giuseppe Castiglione was 26 years old when he stepped off the trading ship that had taken from from Lisbon to Guangzhou. It was 1714, and trade with China was just beginning — the young man was a Jesuit, and a painter. Castiglione was a missionary, sent from his home in Italy to bring Jesus to the people of China. News of his arrival was sent to the Emperor Kangxi, in Beijing, who summoned Castiglione to the royal palace. We don’t know what the emperor thought of Jesus, but he sure liked Castiglione’s painting.

Giuseppe Castiglione spent the rest of his life in the courts of the Qing Dynasty, growing close with three different emperors, Kangxi, Yongzheng, and finally Qianlong, documenting their military successes, their favorite horses, and their families. Castiglione also took on a new name, Lang Shi’ning, and fused eastern and western painting styles. His paintings were prized by the emperors, who often added poems in their own calligraphy to the work. Late in his life, emperor Qianlong would inscribe a hanging scroll titled Spring’s Peaceful Message with this note:

“In portraiture Shi’ning is masterful. He painted me during my younger days; the white-headed one who enters the room today does not recognize who this is.”

Read More
One Hundred Horses

One Hundred Horses

1728
One Hundred Horses — Detail 1

One Hundred Horses — Detail 1

1728
One Hundred Horses — Detail 2

One Hundred Horses — Detail 2

1728
One Hundred Horses — Detail 3

One Hundred Horses — Detail 3

1728
One Hundred Horses — Detail 4

One Hundred Horses — Detail 4

1728
One Hundred Horses — Detail 5

One Hundred Horses — Detail 5

1728
The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armour

The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armour

1758
Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers

Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers

1758
Portrait of Consort Chunhui

Portrait of Consort Chunhui

1760
Portrait of Lady Hoja

Portrait of Lady Hoja

1760
Portraits of Emperor Qianlong, the Empress, and Eleven Imperial Consorts

Portraits of Emperor Qianlong, the Empress, and Eleven Imperial Consorts

1736-1770
1601
Paint flowers, make money
Rachel Ruysch
Pastel portraits keep you looking young and fresh
Rosalba Carriera
Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧
Analyzing miracles and documenting mixed-race couples
Miguel Cabrera
Spirit and fire, a quick and resolute style
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
1800

The artists of Qing Dynasty