GIUSEPPE CASTIGLIONE. A Jesuit Painter at the Court of the Chinese Emperors. Translated by Michael Bullock

Rutland/Tokyo: Charles E Tuttle, 1971. First edition. Hardcover. Oblong 4to. Giuseppe Castiglione, Italian painter, Jesuit missionary, arrived in China in 1715 and passed his life at the Court of the Emperors K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung. There he became pre-eminent among a group of European missionary-court painters who combined the propagation of the Christian faith (in the face of daunting difficulties) with professional dedication to the artistic commissions of the Emperors. Although trained as a Jesuit, Castiglione was an artist of high accomplishment and in the course of his long stay in Peking (he died there in 1766) he managed to achieve a remarkable synthesis between the traditions and techniques of European painting and those of Chinese painting. He excelled in religious painting, was famous as a portraitist and genre painter, and his paintings of animals, flowers and landscapes earned him an unprecedented honour--first painter at the Court of the Emperor K'ang-hsi. This book provides a catalogue raisonne of the work of Castiglione (called by the Chinese Lang Shih-ning) as well as an account of the meeting of two contrasted techniques of painting and theories of art. For that reason it is an important contribution to art scholarship. However, it is more than that because, partly through the journals and letters of eighteenth-century missionaries in China it offers a fascinating picture of daily life and the great ceremonial occasions at the Court of the Emperors, of the confrontation of two great civilisations, of the intellectual and philosophical disputes that arose from the encounter, of the hardships endured by the missionaries and of the rivalries between the European powers in the mission field. Illustrated. 204 pages. A near fine copy in a near fine jacket (price-clipped). Item #15192
ISBN: 0804809879

Price: $75.00

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