They were being venerated at important anniversaries and weddings. Before the invention of the camera, the portraits were painted by artisans who would offer a selection of features from which the relatives choose those which most resembled the ancestor. The most important element of the portrait was the badge of rank. Additional ancestor portraits were painted long after the subjects had died, to replace ones lost or burnt, or if the original portrait of a remote ancestor was in his village far from the current settlement of the clan. After the invention of the camera, the man and his wife were photographed for posterity wearing their official robes and the photograph hung in the altar room or temple for worship by their descendants. Most ancestor portraits date from the early to middle Ching dynasty, dating is often possible because they bear Chinese characters indicating the year of a certain emperor during Ching dynasty rule, such as Qian Long (1736-1795) or Kangxi (1662-1722) They are painted on linen and later pieces painted on silk or rice paper. Looking at these paintings closely one can sometimes conclude the status of the family, the Mandarin square, hat wear and other dress accessories indicate in which rank at the Imperial court the male subject in the painting belonged.

 

We collect replica's in many sizes, all handpainted on linen.  «

 

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