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Giuseppe (1688) Castiglione Art for Sale at Auction

Painter, b. 1688 - d. 1766

(b Milan, 19 July 1688; d Beijing, 16 July 1766) Italian painter, and architect; active in Portugal, Italy and China. In his youth Giuseppe Castiglione studied painting in Italy under Carlo Cornara at the Botteghe degli Stampator studio. The painter Andrea Pozzo, a member of the Society of Jesus at Trento, also influenced the young artist. At the age of 19, he entered into the Jesuit order and traveled to Genoa for additional training. At the age of 27, he was sent as a missionary Beijing, China; along the journey he stopped to complete wall paintings in Jesuit churches in Coimbra, Portugal and Macao, China. Painting under the Chinese name of Lang Shih-ning, his skill as an artist eventually allowed him to serve as court artist under the emperor Ch’ien-lung. The Jesuit artist also served at the Imperial Ch’ing court under the successive emperors: Kangxi, and Yongzheng. Castiglione forged a new artistic style combining his western training of shading and atmospheric perspective, suggesting depth and realism, with the brushwork and traditional themes of Chinese art. Castiglione died in Beijing in 1766; he is buried in the European Missionary Graveyard in Beijing. He is the only Western artist included in Chinese imperial collections. Castiglione’s paintings are visible today on over forty Chinese stamps as well as in the Beijing and Taipei Museums.

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