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Chinese Artwork - Large Painted Scroll - - Anonymous - 1889. 
China 1889 - A very rare original painted portrait of Chinese Empress Long Yu, made between 1889 to 1908, when she was married to Emperor Guanxu. Vivid artistry and lovely colours depict the Empress as being rather young, presumably in her twenty's. She is seated on a throne and dressed in exquisite court attire, further adorned with pearl jewellry and a royal headdress. An original work by an unidentified Chinese artist, coloured paint on brown paper, rolled into a scroll and prepared for wall display on certain occasions. A round dowel wrapped in Chinese printed cloth is affixed to bottom for weight. The upper wood mount, with string for hanging, is captioned in paint by the artist, identifying the subject of his work, in Chinese, as being 'Empress Long Yu, wife of Emperor Guanxu'. Scroll measures approximately 182 x 63 cm. Minor wear to edges, otherwise in Very Good, original condition. Suitable for hanging display. Any original image of Empress Long Yu is exceedingly scarce. Empress Xiaodingjing (1868-1913), better known as Empress Dowager Longyu, personal name Jingfen, was the Empress Consort of the Guangxu Emperor, emperor of the Qing dynasty and imperial China. She is best remembered for signing the abdication documents in 1912 on behalf of Puyi, the Last Emperor. On 26 February 1889 Empress Xiaodingjing was married to the Guangxu Emperor (1871-1908, personal name Zaitian), becoming his Empress immediately after the wedding. The wedding ceremony was an extravagant and spectacular occasion. Immediately after the Guangxu Emperor's death in 1908, Empress Dowager Cixi appointed Puyi, a nephew of the Guangxu Emperor, as the new emperor. Empress Dowager Cixi died the following day. Empress Dowager Longyu did not have any children with the Guangxu Emperor, and so she adopted the infant Puyi as her child. Although her predecessor Cixi had decreed before her death that the Qing imperial court would never again allow women to serve as regents, Longyu remained the leading figure in the Qing government and was consulted on all major decisions. However, because she was inexperienced in politics, in the first few years of Puyi's reign, the emperor's biological father, Zaifeng (Prince Chun), served as the regent for Puyi alongside the general Yuan Shikai. On Yuan Shikai's advice in the fall of 1911, Empress Dowager Longyu signed an abdication on behalf of five-year-old child Emperor Puyi. The Qing dynasty came to an end in 1912 and was replaced by the Republic of China. Within a few months after the fall of the Qing dynasty, on 22 February 1913, only 45 years of age, Empress Dowager Longyu died in Beijing of an illness. She was the only Chinese empress whose coffin was transported from the Forbidden City to her tomb by train.
[Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts]
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