Prince Xian of Ning


unknown - Prince Xian of Ning
The man in informal dress with a gold dragon emblem on his chest and a sword strapped to his waist is identified as the Prince Xian of Ning, i. e. Prince Zhu Quan (1378–1448), the 17th son of the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. In 1391, the prince received as fief a military base in the frontier region of contemporary Inner Mongolia (thus the title). The sword can indeed allude to his reputation of dauntless army commander, for which he was revered in that region. Moreover, the attendants bringing the qin zither, shown to the right, are wearing nomadic clothes and have facial features of a non-Chinese ethnic group. The prince’s features, captured here with considerable realism and unusual delicacy, suggest that the portrait was executed by a skilful professional portrait painter.
measurements: height 167 cm
width 99,5 cm
in collections:
material: silk
technique: painted in ink and colors
inventory number: Vm 3199
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art