Portrait of an Official

Portrait of an Official
(click image to zoom-in)
Portraiture, Painting, Indian ink and mineral pigments, 45x31.8 cm
Origin: China, Tangut State of Hsi Hsia, Khara-Khoto, 12th century

In the centre of the scroll is an elderly man wearing a tall hat and a dark unofficial gown tied with a red sash. His intelligent and serious face is depicted after the canons of physiognomy judging character by the features. The large nose, squinted narrow eyes, swollen eyelids and heavy chin are conveyed by refined red lines.

The portrait is reminiscent of the best examples of Chinese painting of the Song period that greatly influenced the art of the Tangut State of Hsi Hsia . It is suggested that such portraits may have been produced during the lifetime of officials, or shortly after their death. The portrait appeared in Russia with a collection of paitings brought by Pyotr Kozlov in 1908 and 1909 from Khara-Khoto .

Source of entry: State Russian Museum, 1933
Exibition: Chinese Art and Culture: 2,000 BC - 20th century

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