Faces to Remember: Chinese Portraits of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911) | Level 1

  • Portrait of the elderly Master Jing.
    Portrait of the elderly Master Jing. By an anonymous painter. Hanging scroll in ink and colour on paper. Qing dynasty, ca. 1768. The George Crofts Collection. Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren. 921.32.98
  • Portrait of a fourth-rank official by an anonymous painter
    Portrait of a fourth-rank official by an anonymous painter. Oil on paper. Qing dynasty, 18th century. The George Crofts Collection. Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren. 921.32.74
  • Portrait of a civil official awaiting audience by an anonymous painter.
    Portrait of a civil official awaiting audience by an anonymous painter. Hanging scroll. Ink and colour on silk. Qing dynasty, circa 18th century. The George Crofts Collection. Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren. 921.32.102Portrait of a civil official awaiting audience by an anonymous painter. Hanging scroll. Ink and colour on silk. Qing dynasty, circa 18th century. The George Crofts Collection. Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren. 921.32.102
  • Portrait of a nobleman with his consort by an anonymous painter
    Portrait of a nobleman with his consort by an anonymous painter. Hanging scroll. Ink and colour on silk. Qing dynasty, 18th century. The George Crofts Collection. 921.1.153
  • Portrait of Namjar, second-rank Officer of the Guards by anonymous court painters
    Portrait of Namjar, second-rank Officer of the Guards by anonymous court painters. Hanging scroll. Ink and colour on silk. Qing dynasty, 1760. 923x56.8
  • Face of an old woman from a sketchbook of faces by an anonymous painter
    Face of an old woman from a sketchbook of faces by an anonymous. Album. Ink and colour on paper. Qing dynasty, late 19th century. 994.31.38

Closing May 4, 2014

Get an up-close look Chinese portraits created during the Ming and Qing dynasties, that come from the renowned collections of the Museum’s Far Eastern section.

Showcasing a culturally important, but often-overlooked aspect of Chinese art and culture, the exhibition’s portraits are astonishing in their detail and embedded symbolism.  The visual appeal of the exhibition’s 25 works – some remarkably large - is enhanced by a number of sartorial and personal accessories, objects carefully selected for their resemblance to those seen in the paintings. 

Faces to Remember showcases traditional Chinese portraiture as well as Western influences on Chinese painting techniques. It also examines Chinese concepts of celebrating memories of the dead; explores the reasons behind the commissioning of portraits; and illuminates the techniques used by painters to meet their clients’ expectations.

These paintings, on paper or silk, portray members from all classes of society during the Ming and Qing regimes.  Scholars, civil officials, elderly men and women, members of the imperial clan, military officers, a mother and two young sons, a father and an adult son, and several members of one family are among the portraits’ subjects. Numerous indicators of the sitter’s social status, including clothing, are evident in each work. While visitors can expect enlightening contextual information about the sitters’ lives, delivering a better understanding and appreciation of the portraits and those depicted in them, little is known of most artists behind the paintings, not even their names.

Comments

Comment by anne scott

Help - you list the current exhibitions... but when do these exhibits END??
I have a friend arriving from the U.S.A. at the end of August/early September and wonder if any of these will be available at that time.

Comment by Lead Concierge

Special exhibitions Mesopotamia, BIG, Photography of Raja Deen Dayal will still be here at the end of August/beginning of September.  Genesis closes on Sept. 2, 2013.  You can always call our main information line at 416-586-8000 before your visit if you have any questions.