This more than iconic painting of Qianlong was painted by Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione. Castiglione. This painting probably dates from 1758 and thus captures the Qianlong emperor when he is 47.
Castiglione was a very accomplished painter, successfully blending traditional Chinese art with Western realism. He was a polymath who worked closely with the emperor in commemorative paintings, cartography and imperial architecture.
This painting probably dates from 1758 and thus captures the Qianlong emperor when he is 47. It hung in the central banquet hall of the Nanyuan, or southern park, where reviews of the troops were done, hunting parties were held, and where Qianlong frequently received dignitaries who would sit and wait in a room looking at this painting before meeting the emperor in person.
The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armor on Horseback (1758)
By Giuseppe Castiglione. Medium ink and color on silk
Dimensions Height: 322.5 cm (127 in). Width: 232 cm (91.3 in).