The Shining Inheritance - Italian Painters at the Qing Court, 1699-1812
Italian Painters at the Qing Court 1699-1812
"During Qing dynasty China, a series of Italian artists was hired through the Jesuit missionary network to work for the Qing Imperial Workshops in Beijing. In The Shining Inheritance: Italian Painters at the Qing Court, 1699-1812, Marco Musillo describes the professional adaptations and pictorial modifications to Chinese traditions that allowed these Italian painters--Giovanni Gherardini (1655-ca. 1729), Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), and Giuseppe Panzi (1734-1812)--to work within the Chinese cultural sphere from 1699, the year of Gherardini's arrival in China, to 1812, the year of Panzi's death. Musillo focuses especially on the long career and influence of Castiglione (whose Chinese name was Lang Shining), who worked in Beijing for more than fifty years. Serving three Qing emperors, he was actively engaged in the pictorial discussions at court. The Shining Inheritance perceptively explores how each artist's levels of professional artistic training affected his understanding, selection, and translation of the Chinese pictorial traditions. Musillo further demonstrates how this East-West artistic exchange challenged the dogmas of European universality through a professional dialogue that became part of established workshop routines. The cultural elements, procedures, and artistic languages of both China and Italy were strategically played against each other in negotiating the successes and failures of the Italian painters in Beijing."--ECIP data view.