One Hundred Horses (百駿圖)
Lang Shining (郎世寧, 1688–1766), Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)
Handscroll, ink and colors on silk, 94.5 x 776.2 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei
Following the taste and tradition of painting in China, Castiglione was able to forge a new style that combined elements with his Western training in art. His paintings were done with Chinese materials but often incorporate Western techniques of shading and atmospheric perspective. In this long handscroll painting, for example, a hundred horses are shown in a variety of activities. Using perspective to suggest depth and shading for the effect of light, Castiglione has used Chinese materials and Western techniques to impart a sense of realism to this native theme. In addition to the shadows, Castiglione has adapted the traditional texture stroke methods of Chinese painting to give the objects even more substance. The emphasis on washes of color, however, still reveals the focus on native techniques. This painting, done in 1728, represents an early masterpiece in Castiglione’s syncretic style of East and West.