Gardens of a Chinese Emperor: Imperial Creations of the by Victoria M. Siu

By Victoria M. Siu

The backyard of ideal Brightness (Yuanming Yuan) within the western suburbs of the Qing capital, Beijing, was once began by way of the good Kangxi (r. 1661–1722) and extended via his son, Yongzheng (r. 1722–1735) and taken to its maximum glory by means of his grandson, Qianlong (r. 1736–1796). A lover of literature and artwork, Qinglong sought a mundane mirrored image of his greatness in his Yuanming Yuan. for a few years he designed and directed an complicated software of backyard preparations. Representing generations of painstaking learn, this publication follows the emperor as he governed his empire from inside his backyard. In a panorama of lush crops, synthetic mountains and lakes, and colourful constructions, he sought to symbolize his wealth and gear to his different matters and to the area at huge. Having been looted and burned within the mid-nineteenth century by way of western forces, it now lies generally in ruins, however it was once the world’s so much tricky backyard within the eighteenth century. The backyard recommended an entire set of concepts—religious, philosophical, political, inventive, and popular—represented in panorama and structure. simply as bonsai portrays a backyard in miniature, the imperial Yuanming Yuan on the top of its elegance represented the Qing Empire in microcosm.

Includes sixty two colour plates and 35 black & white photos.

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Extra resources for Gardens of a Chinese Emperor: Imperial Creations of the Qianlong Era, 1736-1796

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The 1756 Clothing Records reveal the water and land route used by the Qianlong emperor and his entourage on the strenuous sixteenth day of the tenth Chinese month. It is the only day that he graced with his presence all five gardens of the Garden of Perfect Brightness, a mammoth task undertaken just after the autumn chill had returned to such a degree that the emperor rode in a sleigh for part of the journey. Significantly, the entry for the next day reveals a limited schedule within the Garden of Perfect Brightness, with only a restful visit to the eastern Garden of Everlasting Spring (Changchun Yuan) annex he had built.

On the twenty-third day, after administering affairs in the Diligence in State Affairs Hall, it was still so cold that he rode a sleigh to the Garden of Shared Joy for in-motion viewing, followed by waiting for his mother to join him for breakfast. After his evening meal, he boarded another sleigh for in-motion viewing, returning finally to Nine Continents. On the twenty-fourth day, the Qianlong emperor followed the same pattern of taking care of affairs and in-motion viewing, followed by waiting for his mother to eat breakfast with him, all in the same venues.

Only porous rocks mark the venue today. The Qianlong emperor often traversed the Old Road to reach one or more of the five gardens of the Old Summer Palace from the Forbidden City. This land route was so well planned that, under a different name, it is still utilized as the principal route in the region west of Beijing. Daoist Rituals and Sites at the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Ninth and tenth daysof the fourth Chinese month) Immediately following the ordinary winter week, the Qianlong emperor had to be absent from his beloved Garden of Perfect Brightness for several periods, including all but one day in the third Chinese month.

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