Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lang Shih-Ning (Guiseppe Castiglione)

"White Falcon"
Qing Dynasty, China
(The last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China)
Collection of the National Palace Museum (Taiwan).

The white falcon is minutely rendered in Chinese white, and the pine tree and rocks in the background are executed in the Chinese painting style.
This is an outstanding work indicating the synthesis of Western and Chinese painting styles.

Guiseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Lang Shih-ning by Chinese name, was a native of Milan, Italy.
He became a Jesuit missionary at the age of twenty-seven and went to China, where he served as a court painter (in 1715) under three Ch'ing emperors, namely K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung for 51years.
He was skilled in painting human figures and flowers-and-birds and animals, especially in painting horses, and became the favorite of the painting circles of the times with his minutely realistic works utilizing the Western style of painting.