Emperor Qianlong on Horseback Crossing Gold Tortoise Jade Rainbow Bridge

Artist: Traditionally attributed to Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 20th century, or possibly late 18th-19th century
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 255.9 x 135.3 cm (100 3/4 x 53 1/4 in) H x W (overall): 275 x 140 cm (108 1/4 x 55 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program and partial gift of Richard G. Pritzlaff
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, emperor, horse, pagoda, palace, portrait, Pritzlaff collection, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

Although the face of the rider resembles the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736–96), he would never have appeared in public without the large retinue that always accompanied an imperial procession. Paintings of imperial pastimes, however, do not necessarily document actual events. However, the painting seems suspicious and may have been painted in the 1920s for sale as a forgery. It bears a spurious signature of Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shining, 1688–1766) and spurious seals.

Published References
  • Jan Stuart, Evelyn S. Rawski. Worshiping the Ancestors: Chinese Commemorative Portraits. Exh. cat. Washington and Stanford. p. 123, fig. 5.5.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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