THE CONQUESTS OF THE QIANLONG EMPEROR A SET OF ELEVEN ENGRAVINGS AFTER CASTIGLIONE ET AL, 1769-74 | 1769-1744年 《乾隆平定西域得勝圖》版畫十一幅
Property of a Gentleman
THE CONQUESTS OF THE QIANLONG EMPEROR
A SET OF ELEVEN ENGRAVINGS AFTER CASTIGLIONE ET AL, 1769-74
comprising Receiving the Surrender of the Yili, Storming of the Camp at Gädän-Ola, The Victory of Khorgos, The Battle of Khurungui, The Chief of Us (Turfan) Surrenders with His City, The Great Victory of Qurman, The Battle of Qos-qulaq, The Battle of Arcul, The Battle of Yesilköl-nor, The Emperor Is Presented with Prisoners from the Pacification of the Muslim Tribes and The Emperor in the Suburbs Personally Receives News of the Officers and Soldiers Distinguished in the Campaigns against the Muslim Tribes
each engraving approx. 51.6 by 89.4 cm, 20 ¼ by 35 ⅛ in.
The engravings are preserved well, with minor issues:
1 and 2 Minor staining, mainly at the edges.
3 Minor tear at the middle of the left edge.
4 Good condition.
5 Minor stains. Restored crease line approx. 11cm, running down from the top and confined to the sky.
6 Restored tear running 39cm right of the top left corner to 10cm below. Other minor tears and staining.
7 Minor staining.
8 There is a 10cm restored tear running down near the top right corner.
9 There is loss of detail to top left and bottom left corners. 6cm tear at left side.
10 Minor staining.
11 There are some minor tears.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Acquired in Copenhagen in 1965.
Nicholas Pearce, 'Qianlong's Western Campaign Engravings', Imagining Qianlong: Louis XV's Chinese Emperor Tapestries and Battle Scene Prints at the Imperial Court in Beijing, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2017, figs 1-8.
Florian Knothe, 'Presenting the Other: Lasting Cultural Impact in East and West', ibid., fig. 5.
Nicholas Pearce，〈Qianlong's Western Campaign Engravings〉，《乾隆意象：路易十五的中國皇帝掛毯與北京宮廷戰圖銅版畫》，香港大學美術博物館，香港，2017年，圖1-8
羅諾德，〈Presenting the Other: Lasting Cultural Impact in East and West〉，出處同上，圖5
On loan to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., 1996-2018.
Imagining Qianlong: Louis XV's Chinese Emperor Tapestries and Battle Scene Prints at the Imperial Court in Beijing, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2017.
The set of engravings is a remarkable testament to not only the significance of the successful campaigns in Eastern Turkestan that the Qianlong Emperor embarked upon between 1755 and 1759 but also the cultural, aesthetic and technological exchanges during the Qianlong reign. As Joanna Waley-Cohen suggests, “Military power and the associated martial virtues were crucial to the self-image of the Manchu Qing polity (1636-1912), which at its zenith ranked among the most powerful in the world.” These campaigns, ending with the suppression of a revolt of the Muslim Altishahr Khojas (1757-1759), led a new territory named Xinjiang, under the control of the Qing empire and that these successes were visually commemorated in an arguably Western manner was truly an exceptional cultural exchange. A grand ceremony was held in the spring of the following year during which the two generals who had successfully led the campaigns, Zhaohui (1708-1764) and Fude (d. 1776) were honoured and sixteen large-scale paintings recording the events were commissioned to be executed and installed in the Ziguangge (Hall of Purple Splendour), a building in the imperial garden adjacent to the Forbidden City, which was to become the location of reception of foreign envoys and public display of the Qianlong Emperor’s military conquests.
The paintings were planned and executed by three Jesuits and one Augustinian, namely Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Jean-Denis Attiret (1702-1768), Ignatius Sichelbarth (1708-1780) and Jean Damascene Sallusti (d. 1781).
It has been suggested that the Qianlong Emperor, having been shown prints done after the battle paintings by the German artist Georg Philipp Rugendas (1666-1742), was inspired to celebrate his own victories by having them commemorated in prints. He commissioned the original set of sixteen engravings commemorating his military victories in 1765 based on the wall paintings of the battles, conquests and ceremonies that marked his successful campaigns in the Western Region.
The drawings were prepared in China by Giuseppe Castiglione, the director of the project, Jean-Denis Attiret, Ignatius Sichelbarth, Jean-Damascène Sallusti and Ding Guanpeng. They were then sent to France, where the project of The Battles of the Emperor of China was deemed prestigious. Under the direction of Charles-Nicolas Cochin, engraver to King Louis XV, the engravings were executed in Paris by a team of engravers, including Jacques-Philippe Le Bas (1707-1783), Augustin de Saint-Aubin (1736-1807), Benoît-Louis Prévost (1747-1804) and Jean-Jacques Aliamet (1726-1788).
See a related set of sixteen engravings accompanied by a set of eighteen manuscript poems composed and written by the Qianlong Emperor, sold in our New York rooms, 17th March 2009, lot 72.