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Officer portrait available in print

Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:22 pm
by Peter Dekker

At the height of the Qing military power the Qianlong emperor honored his best officers with portraits that were hung in the Pavilion of Purple Brightness, or Ziguangge to the west of the Forbidden City. The highest military exams were held at this place, as well as victory banquets and other festive events that were related to the military.

Of the total of 280 meritorious officers were thus painted during the Qianlong reign, usually with one nearly life-sized portrait and 2 or more smaller paintings. Of these, about 84 remain in various sizes.

One of these, Uksiltu, can now be ordered from allposters: ... 64405_.htm

Uksiltu served in the East-Turkestan campaign against the Dzungars, that lasted from 1755 to 1759. The text above the portrait, in Chinese and Manchu, reads:

"Imperial Guard of the third rank, "Cat Hero" Uksiltu was selected to go to the battle front. The reports he sent expressly arrived one after another: "Myriads of bandits remained, surrounding the army's camp. They behaved as though there was not a single outstanding man there." By the time he reached Aksu, the callouses [on his legs] reached almost up to his knees. Even today, the bullet that went into his back has still not been taken out."

(Translation from Manchu by Mark C. Elliott. See his book "The Manchu Way")