A Jesuit Priest before the Dragon Throne:
Giuseppe Castiglione and Yuanming Yuan
Asian Art and History: Fabulous Wonders of China
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning
Marjorie Williams, Senior Director for Endowment Development, The Cleveland Museum of Art
As a young priest, Giuseppe Castiglione traveled to China in 1715 to paint murals on the interiors of cathedrals that the catholic churches hoped to establish. His artistic talent inspired an introduction to the imperial court in Beijing. For over 50 years, he served three emperors as a court painter. He masterfully synthesized Eastern and Western painting techniques in his realistic imperial portraits as well as his landscapes, still lifes and paintings of horses and dogs in the imperial stables. Known as Lang shihning at court, he also became an architect during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. He drafted the plans for the construction of Western palaces in Yuanming Yuan, the Summer Palaces. Fragments of these fanciful buildings are lingering reminders of the 18th-century palaces and gardens that blended Eastern and Western architectural traditions.
Admission includes lunch and a discussion with the lecturer immediately following the lecture. This presentation is part of the Asian Art and History lecture series.