Obelisk Art History

Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers

Giuseppe Castiglione (郎世寧), 1758
Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers, Giuseppe Castiglione (郎世寧)
Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers, zoomed in
328 cmPeacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers scale comparison282 cm
See Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers in the Kaleidoscope

Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers is a Qing Dynasty Ink and Silk Drawing created by Giuseppe Castiglione (郎世寧) in 1758. It lives at the National Palace Museum, Taipei in Taiwan. The image is in the Public Domain, and tagged Peacocks and Birds. SourceDownload

In the sixth lunar month of the Qianlong 23rd year (1758), Kumul from the western regions presented peacocks as tribute, the emperor composing poetry on ‘Peacock Spreading Its Feathers,’ which is transcribed on this work. On the twelfth day of the seventh month of that year, the Ruyi Hall section of the imperial workshop archives records that Giuseppe Castiglione did a large hanging scroll painting on white silk of a peacock spreading its tail feathers with background scenery by the eighteenth-century artists Fang Cong and Jin Tingbiao. The Qianlong emperor’s instructions for the painting explicitly state that it should represent a ‘fusion’ of Chinese and Western painting.

—from the extraordinary specific documentation by the National Palace Museum, Taipei.

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