Art inspires stronger China-Italy ties

Updated: Jul 10, 2024 By Lin Qi CHINA DAILY Print
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Statues of Renaissance legend Leonardo da Vinci and Chinese artist Qi Baishi, created by Wu Weishan, on show at the National Art Museum of China exhibition, Thoughts in the Heart. JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY

From Florence to Beijing, between figurative and abstract, creative talent blazes its own paths, Lin Qi reports.

In 1715, Giuseppe Castiglione, a young man from Milan, Italy, arrived in Macao. His ultimate destination was the imperial court of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Beijing, where he was to serve the emperor as a painter.

At that time, Castiglione didn't expect that his service at the court would last for decades until he died in 1766. As one of Emperor Qianlong's favorite artists, he left paintings depicting the ruler, his activities and imperial life. Meanwhile, he helped train several Chinese pupils to master Western painting techniques.

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