Giuseppe Castiglione (Jesuit)

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For the 19th-century painter and others with same name, see Giuseppe Castiglione (disambiguation).
Brother Giuseppe Castiglione, S.J.
Old Summer palace museum giuseppe castiglione.jpg
Linear perspective painting by Castiglione. (The Old Summer Palace museum collection)
Born (1688-07-19)19 July 1688
Milan, Italy
Died 17 July 1766(1766-07-17) (aged 77)
Beijing, Imperial China
Nationality Italian
Known for Painting and architecture

Giuseppe Castiglione, S.J. (simplified Chinese: 郎世宁; traditional Chinese: 郎世寧; pinyin: Láng Shìníng) (July 19, 1688 – July 17, 1766), was an Italian Jesuit lay brother who served as a missionary in China, where he became a painter at the court of the emperor.

Early life[edit]

Born in Milan's San Marcellino district, in his early years Castiglione studied painting with Carlo Cornara of the renowned Bottega degli Stampatori painting studio. In 1709 he became a Jesuit. Although a Jesuit, he was never a priest. He was rather a lay brother.

Work in China[edit]

The Jesuits in China having asked for a painter to be sent to the imperial court in Beijing, Castiglione volunteered and was accepted. In 1710 on the way to Lisbon he passes through Coimbra where he is kept several years to decorate the chapel of St. Francis Borgia in the Church of the novitiate, today Coimbra's Cathedral, and painted a "circumcision" on the main altar of the same church.[1]

In 1715, Castiglione arrived in China as a missionary. While there, Castiglione took the name Lang Shining (郎世寧). His skill as an artist was appreciated by the Emperor Qianlong and Castiglione spent many years in the court painting various subjects, including the portraits of the Emperor and Empress.

Castiglione's work served as the subject for a series of "Battle Copper Prints" commissioned by the Emperor to commemorate his military campaigns. Small-scale copies of his paintings were shipped to Paris and rendered into copperplate intaglio before being returned to China. A series of sixteen prints by Castiglione and his contemporaries Jean-Denis Attiret, Ignatius Sichelbart and Jean-Damascène Sallusti were created in this way.[2]

Castiglione's style was a unique blend of European sensibility with Chinese technique and themes. The style was however modified according to Chinese taste - strong shadows used in chiaroscuro techniques were unacceptable as Emperor Qianlong thought that shadows looked like dirt, therefore when Castiglione painted the emperor, the intensity of the light was reduced so that there was no shadow on the face, and the features were distinct.[3]

In addition to his demonstrable skill as a painter, he was also in charge of designing the Western-Style Palaces in the imperial gardens of the Old Summer Palace. This prominent Jesuit artist, architect, and missionary died in Beijing.

Influences[edit]

Due to Castiglione's work Qing court paintings began to show a clear Western influence. Other European painters followed and a new school of painting was created that combined Chinese and Western methods. The influence of Western art on the Qing court paintings is particularly evident in the light, shade, perspective, as well as the priority given to recording contemporary events.[3]

In 2005, Castiglione became the subject of the television series Palace Artist in China, played by famed Canadian-Chinese actor Dashan (Mark Rowswell), and broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV).

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.monumentos.pt/Site/APP_PagesUser/SIPA.aspx?id=2809
  2. ^ Castiglione, Giuseppe; Le Bas, Jacques-Philippe (1765). "Storming the Encampment at Gadan-Ola". World Digital Library (in French). Xinjiang, China. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Yang Xin, Rihard M. Barnhart, Nie Chongzheng, James Cahill, Lang Shaojun, Wu Hung. Three Thousand Years of Chinese Paintings. Yale University Press. pp. 282–285. ISBN 978-0-300-07013-2. 

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

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  • George Robert Loehr, “European Artists at the Chinese Court,” in The Westward Influence of the Chinese Arts from the 14th to the 18th Century, ed. William Watson, Colloquies on Art & Archaeology in Asia, no. 3 (London: Percival David Foundation, 1972): 333–42.
  • Joseph Deheregne, Répertoire des Jésuites de Chine de 1552 à 1800 (Rome: Institutum Historicum S. I., 1973), 95.
  • Willard Peterson, “Learning from Heaven: the introduction of Christianity and other Western ideas into late Ming China,” in The Cambridge History of China, ed. Denis Twitchett and Frederick W. Mote, 15 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988), 8:789–839.
  • Cécile Beurdeley and Michel Beurdeley, Giuseppe Castiglione: A Jesuit Painter at the Court of the Chinese Emperors (London: Lund Humphrey, 1972).
  • Hongxing Zhang, ed., The Qianlong Emperor: Treasures from the Forbidden City (Edinburgh: NMS, 2002).
  • Evelyn Rawski and Jessica Rawson, China: The Three Emperors 1662–1795 (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005).
  • John W. O’Malley et al., eds., The Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts 1540–1773, (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1999).
  • Ho Wai-kam, ed., Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting: The Collections of the Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, and the Cleveland Museum of Art (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1980), 355.
  • Memoria Postuma Fratris Josephi Castiglione, Bras. 28, ff. 92r–93v, Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI), Rome.
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  • Relazione scritta da Monsignor Vescovo di Pechino al P. Giuseppe Cerù, in ordine alla Publicazione de Decreti apostolici (1715), ms. 1630, ff. 146r–152v, f. 149r. Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome.
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