Gallery: Portraits of Yongzheng Palace Women

This set of 12 meticulous-style paintings was commissioned by Emperor Yongzheng (1678-1735) when he was still the crown prince.  They are important depictions of the lifestyles of the Qing Court.

Originally posted on the screens of the “Deep Willow Reading Hall” in Yuanmingyuan, they were removed from the screens and transferred to the Forbidden City later on. These paintings tell the tales of the Qing imperial court, and give us a rare glimpse of the actual scenes and settings of Yuanmingyuan in its early years.

Each painting centered on its own theme and narrative – tea time, sewing, reading and other leisurely activities and amusements of palace women.

These paintings also provide valuable clues on the  fashion styles of women in the 17 – 18th century – their costumes, hairstyles, jewelry and other fashion accessories.

The furnishings and artifacts in the paintings were rendered accurately, they are invaluable for historians and connoisseurs studying Chinese art history.

Enjoy your time travel with these timeless beauties – they are graceful, elegant, exquisite and artistic!