50 years at the Court of China


‘The exhibition on Giuseppe Castiglione will attempt to evoke a privileged moment in the relations between the Europe of the Enlightenment and the China of the Qing by centering attention on the oeuvre of this Jesuit who, historically was one of Christianity’s leading interlocu-tors with the rulers of the millenary empire of Asia. In China since the 15th century, the Jesuits were not merely evangelizers, they were also esteemed masters of European culture and science especially in the field of astronomy and map-making. In this favourable context stands the work of Castiglione. He was of Milanese origin, trained by the Jesuits he managed to get into the court of the Manchu aristocracy in Peking becoming official court painter of first rank. Calm, ingenious and amazing he left such a distinct artistic mark as to win himself a place in P’ eng’ Jun Ts’An’s «Great History of Painting» published around 1800. He vas the only European to do so. Fervently driven by the desire to help evangelize the court, Castiglione proceeded along two lines, as an architect and a painter; undoubted1y expressing himself to the best in the latter capacity. The Meeting exhibi-tion centres on both these activities. Among the works on show will be The Mulan Hunt, the Symbols of Good Fortune and various albums of Imperial collections. The architectural works will consist mainly of twenty views of the palace of Yuan Ming Yuan by his pupil Li Lantai. The exhibition will also present an introduction en-titled ‘The Radiant Assembly’, from the name of the Christian-Chinese church of the early centuries, with testimonies of the missionary marks left by the Jesuit Fathers.’


08 Novembre 1990 - 09 Gennaio 1990


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions