Art/ Collection/ Art Object

清 郎世寧 百駿圖白描稿 卷
One Hundred Horses

Giuseppe Castiglione (Italian, Milan 1688–1766 Beijing)
Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
datable to 1723–25
Handscroll; ink on paper
Image: 37 in. x 25 ft. 10 3/4 in. (94 x 789.3 cm) Overall with mounting: H. 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1991
Accession Number:
Not on view
During the eighteenth century, the Manchu Qing dynasty sponsored a major revival of courtly arts, which attained a new monumental scale, technical finish, and descriptive intricacy. A key figure in establishing this new court aesthetic was the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione. A master of vividly naturalistic draftsmanship and large-scale compositions, in Europe he worked as a muralist. Castiglione helped to create a new, hybrid style that combined Western realism with traditional Chinese conventions of composition and brushwork.

This monumental scroll, a unique example of a Castiglione preparatory drawing, is the model for one of Castiglione's most famous paintings, the One Hundred Horses scroll preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei. The drawing, although done with a brush rather than a pen, is executed almost exclusively in the European manner. Landscape is represented using Western-style perspective, figures are often shown in dramatically foreshortened views, and vegetation is depicted with spontaneous arabesques and cross-hatching. The large scale of the painting also suggests a European influence, as if Castiglione had taken a typical Western canvas and extended its length to make an architectural frieze.
Inscription: No artist’s inscription, signature, or seal

Label strip

Unidentified artist, 2 columns in standard script, 20th c. (printed):

日華古今繪畫展覽會出品 第 號
清 郎世寧 《百駿圖》 素描卷


1. Zhang Haoru 章浩如 (early 20th c.), 14 columns in semi-cursive script, undated; 4 seals:

郎世寧,歐洲人,入華籍。雍正朝供奉内廷,畫馬兼工人物、花鳥、屋宇,恭用西灋尺線測繪,絲粟不爽,工緻絕倫。凖噶尔進大宛馬,上命圖之,得邀睿賞,賜題其所畫 《百駿圖》 長卷,久藏大内。宣統朝由攝政邸借出撮影,今有流傳影本。是卷即 《百駿圖》 稿本,雖荒率不經意,而矩度森嚴,筆畫遒勁,亦海内孤本,似遠勝球璧足珍也。聼秋道士識於宣南幻吾廬中。[印]: 雪泥鴻爪、 金城章氏伯子、 浩如書畫長壽、恨不十年讀書
[ Mayuyama & Co., Ltd. , Tokyo, until 1991; sold to MMA]
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