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The Great Emperor

C2

Sir George Staunton, Bt., An Authentic Account of An Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China. London: G. Nicol, 1797.

Baillieu Library Special Collections Baill BX f 915.1/S798

Vol. 1, frontispiece. 'Tchien Lung, The Great Emperor'

Lord Macartney met with Qianlong (r. 1736-1795) in 1793, 10 days before the emperor was 80, and reported:

He is a fine old gentleman, still healthy and vigorous, not having the appearance of a man of more than sixty.

The Qianlong Emperor, portrayed here in his 80th year by William Alexander, draughtsman with the Macartney Embassy of 1793 (see further C27, C49, C50). Compare C1, where a younger emperor is depicted in a formal court portrait in the style of Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shining, 1688-1768), an Italian painter active at the Qing court.

 

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