Family Matters: Portraits from the Qing Court

June 11, 2011 – January 16, 2012

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

Sixteen paintings of emperors, empresses, princes, and princesses represent three generations of the Qing dynasty imperial family, from the early to mid-18th century. Almost evenly divided between images of men and women, the portraits -- some nearly life-size -- show the royal family members dressed in either the elaborate formal robes required for attendance at court or more casual attire at moments of leisure. The women are generally depicted wearing sumptuous embroidered robes and fabulous jewelry made of gold and pearls or inlaid with dazzling turquoise kingfisher feathers. The men are shown riding horses, relaxing in a garden or boat, meditating quietly with rosary beads, or seated in a formal setting among their favorite possessions.