|Hanging scroll of "Portrait of Namjar"
|Silk, ink and colour|
|Centimetres: 31.5 (height of inscription), 94.6 (width of inscription), 153 (height of painting), 94.6 (width of painting)|
|Late Empire II; Qing dynasty; 18th century AD|
|Area of Origin: China|
Description: From 1755 to 1759 AD, the Qing forces won major conquests in the northwestern borderland of China. The belligerent Dzungars and the rebellious Muslims were subdued and the Yili Valley and Eastern Turkestan came under Chinese control. To celebrate these successes, the Qianlong emperor (reign 1736-1795) ordered written documentation and a pictorial record.
The portrait of Namjar belongs to the set of one hundred portraits of officials who contributed to the success of the expeditions. He is depicted wearing a black riding jacket over a light brown robe, a winter hat surmounted with a red finial and a single-eyed peacock feather, and a pair of black satin boots. His sensitively rendered facial features and expression are inconsistent with the clumsily executed hands, awkward drapery folds, and uncomfortable pose. These clues suggest that the work was completed by more than one painter.
The portrait was done posthumously. The attached encomium or tribute, composed by the emperor and written in both Chinese and Manchurian, tells us that he died valiantly in action.
Namjar, formerly Military Governor in Charge of the Pacification of Rebels;
Duke of the Third Rank with the Designation Yilie (Righteous and Ardent);
and President of the Board of Works
Much worried about the hardship of my worthy [officials],
I dispatched a replacement.
It was during the Black River [siege].
That rats ran wild.
[Leading only] two hundred soldiers,
[Namjar and his cavalry] were ensnared by thousands of rebels.
He gave his life for his country,
This brave and loyal man.
Publications: 1. 1992. Homage to Heaven Homage to Earth. Toronto: Far Eastern Dept., Royal Ontario Museum. pl. 138.
2. Tsang, Ka Bo. Ku-kung wen-wu yueh-kan, (The National Palace Museum Monthly of Chinese Art). 93, 90/12, pp. 38-65.
3. Vollmer, J. 1977. In the Presence of the Dragon Throne, Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum.