Posthumous Portrait of Yu Chenglong (1617-1684)

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 1706-19th century
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 167.7 x 102 cm (66 x 40 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, portrait, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), WWII-era provenance

To 1937 or during the 1940s
Wu Laixi, to 1937 or during the 1940s [1]

From 1937 or during the 1940s to 1997
Richard G. Pritzlaff, Sapello, New Mexico, purchased from Wu Laixi in 1937 or in the 1940s [2]

From 1997
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from the Estate of Richard G. Pritzlaff in 1997


[1] According to Provenance Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Estate of Richard G. Pritzlaff
Richard G. Pritzlaff
Wu Laixi died ca. 1950


Judging by the date of 1706 in the inscription above the portrait, this painting may have been created to commemorate Yu Chenglong's posthumous receipt of an imperial promotion. The style in which the face was rendered, however, suggests that this painting was actually produced in the nineteenth century, and the inscription may have been either copied from an earlier portrait or taken from it and remounted above this painting. Yu is depicted with a red nose. Was this a sign that he was fond of drinking, a fact cited in his biography? The treatment of Yu's nose stands out as an example of the realistic touches often found in Chinese portraits, whether posthumously executed or not.

Published References
  • Jan Stuart, Evelyn S. Rawski. Worshiping the Ancestors: Chinese Commemorative Portraits. Exh. cat. Washington and Stanford. p. 109, fig. 4.13.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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