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Ancestral portrait. A wife of a Chinese official, bestowed with the 6th rank.
14201 I
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Type
Drawing 
Materials
Ink and colours on silk 
Measurements
86 х 60 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18 century 
Function
Family portrait is a specific type of renwu (figure painting) genre of th Chinese painting, which in different cases served as official, representational, ritual or funeral portrait/ Its distinguishing features were strictly frontward posture of the sitter, as a rule sitting in luxuriant armchair, and highly solemn attire of ceremonial festive type. These portraits were painted both pro vita and post mortem, and at most were suspended in a special room of a rich house, where the gallery of family portraits was accommodated.  
Acquisition
 
Copyright
The State Museum of Oriental Art 
Acknowledgements
During the period of Manchu domination in China (1644- 1912) Chinese women married to officials, in particular to those from capital, had to wear Manchu dress, only slightly different from their husbands’ garments, at all formal ceremonies. However many women from middle and upper strata retained national dress for informal occasions of solemn nature. This portrait shows principal elements of festive attire of a Chinese woman, namely long loose gown, reaching her ankles, protruding skirt, sleeveless jacket xiapei with a square badge of rank at the breast, showing a white egret, corresponding to the 6th rank of the sitter’s husband. The dress is completed by magnificent headgear fengguan, decorated with figures of phoenixes holding pearl pendants in their beaks.  
Owner
 
Museum
The State Museum of Oriental Art 
Credit line
 

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