Rare Italian painter's portrait of Chinese emperor on public display-Xinhua

Rare Italian painter's portrait of Chinese emperor on public display

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-17 17:53:00

SHANGHAI, June 17 (Xinhua) -- A rare portrait of a Chinese emperor by an Italian painter was unveiled on Sunday in Shanghai, east China, the first time the work has been exhibited in China in over 300 years.

The portrait of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Emperor Kangxi is an intriguing addition to the exhibition "The 18th Century Masterpieces," which features pieces from the collections of Uffizi Galleries in Italy. The exhibition is being held at the Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai and will last until August 25.

Giovanni Gherardini, who traveled to China with a group of missionaries in 1698, completed the painting when serving at the imperial court in Beijing between 1700 and 1704. Some records suggest the portrait was brought to Italy a few years later.

The portrait presents a Kangxi in a blue casual attire. His face looks younger and distinct from the portrait of the book-reading emperor in the Palace Museum's collection, which is more familiar to the Chinese public.

Simone Verde, the director of the Uffizi Galleries, said it was common for painters with different techniques and subjective impressions to present very different looks of the same person.

"We hope that one day the two portraits can be exhibited together, so that the audience will have their own answers," he said, commenting on the different renderings of the emperor's appearance.