Chinese School (17th/18th century) Portrait of a Distinguished Manchu Court Lady,

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Lot 11
Chinese School (17th/18th century)
Portrait of a Distinguished Manchu Court Lady,

Sold for HK$ 500,000 (US$ 63,986) inc. premium
Chinese School (17th/18th century)
Portrait of a Distinguished Manchu Court Lady,
allegedly Empress Dowager Xiaozhuangwen

Ink and colour on silk, framed
63.5cm x 58.5cm (25in x 28in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance 來源:
    Christie's Hong Kong, 28 April 2003, lot 513

    Empress Xiaozhuangwen (28 March 1613 - 27 January 1688) was born in the forty-first year of the Wanli period (1613) and was a concubine of the Qing Dynasty ruler Huang Taiji. She was officially declared his spouse in the tenth year of the Tianfu era (1625) and was made Consort Zhuang of the Yongfugong in the first year of the Chongde era (1636), despite not being the first wife of the Emperor. She was the mother to Huang Taiji's successor, the Shunzhi Emperor (15 March 1638 - 5 February 1661), and grandmother of Shunzhi's successor, the Kangxi Emperor (1661-1722). She wielded significant influence over the Qing Imperial court, especially as Grand Empress Dowager after the succession of the Kangxi Emperor in 1661.

    The Manchu lady is depicted wearing a changfupao or regular robe, which resembles that worn by Emperors and Empresses of the early Qing Dynasty. A changfupao has a round neck, right-buttoned front, horsehoof-shaped cuffs and two slits at the sides, similar to the current lot. Compare a related portrait of Empress Xiaozhuangwen (fig.1) in the Imperial collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Splendours of Royal Costume Qing Court Attire, Hong Kong, 2013, p.188. The Beijing Palace Museum example depicts Empress Xiaozhuangwen in her recognisable crown-braided hair, wearing a beige changfupao and holding a string of chaozhu.

    The changfupao in the Beijing Palace Museum painting closely resembles that of the current lot. It is not to be confused with the leisure costumes for daily wearing, but rather was worn by an Imperial Consort under a regular surcoat either during fasting periods, or during relatively solemn occasions, including during Jingyan or Classics Lecture presided over by the Emperor, festivals during mourning period, death anniversaries. The gender of the wearer is differentiated by the number and position of the slits: the Imperial Consorts only had two side slits, which reflects that the front and rear of a lady's body should always be well concealed in accordance to ancient Chinese dress etiquette. These changfupao are usually plain fabrics in monotones, which served to remind the wearer of the virtues of solemnity and piety, and were the only clothing other that the official and festive costumes to be complemented by chaozhu or court necklace.

    中國畫派 滿洲婦人 (傳為康熙帝祖母) 設色絹本 鏡框 十七/十八世紀

    孝莊文皇后,姓博爾濟吉特氏,清太宗皇太極之妃,順治帝的生母,生於萬曆四十一年(1613年)。天命十年(1625年),嫁給努爾哈赤第八子皇太極。崇德元年(1636年),皇太極稱帝,被受封為永福宮莊妃。崇德三年,生福臨。順治元年(1644年),尊封為聖母皇太后。順治十八年(1661年),順治死後,第三子玄燁即位(年號康熙),尊為太皇太后。康熙二十六年(1687年)去世,葬於清東陵之昭西陵。
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