MRI Forum 20

"Giuseppe Castiglione, S.J.—An Italian Master Painter in the Courts of
Three Emperors"

by Robert Brothers


Summary of the Presentation

Mr. Robert Brothers will address the background to the lives and aspirations of the Jesuit Missionaries in Beijing during the 50 years (1716—1766) that Giuseppe Castiglione (alias Lang Shining) lived in China and worked for three Emperors. He will briefly touch on the relevant historical background of the Court during these fifty years and how it was that important matters of state touched on and affected the lives of the missionaries living there. He will illustrate several of the more important paintings by Castiglione and will discuss their significance and meaning. Of particular interest he will draw attention to the symbolism that is wrapped up and demonstrated in such paintings. He will discuss Castiglione influence on chinese art as a whole and how Castiglione is viewed today by the art world.

Profile of the Speaker

A long-term resident of Hong Kong, and Chairman of Mundogas S.A.— International transporters and traders of liquid petroleum gas, Mr Brothers is a Visiting Committee Member of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Massachusetts, and a Member of the Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong. He is an avid collector of art portraying the history of Macao and Hong Kong, owning one of the largest collections of paintings by the artist George Chinnery (1774—1852), with such collection having been exhibited in Tokyo and Fukuoka in Japan and Hong Kong. He is also an enthusiastic amateur historian specialising in the activities of the Jesuit Missionaries in Japan and China; and a frequent visitor to the Macau Ricci Institute.