By Staff Reporter 2:00 am PST

In 1689 the Kangxi emperor (r. 1662 – 1722), a Manchu whose forebears had conquered China in 1644, made a grand tour to consolidate his authority over southern China. The renowned landscapist Wang Hui was commissioned to record the journey in a series of twelve oversize handscrolls.

Painted scrolls © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This scroll, the third in the set, highlights the emperor’s visit to Mount Tai, China’s “Sacred Peak of the East.” Although Wang based his design on maps and woodblock prints — he never visited the mountain — he also connected specific sites with imaginary landscape passages inspired by classical precedents and employed a traditional “blue-and-green” palette to underscore the emperor’s beneficent rule.


Object Details


Title: The Kangxi Emperor’s Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll Three: Ji’nan to Mount Tai

Artist: Wang Hui (Chinese, 1632–1717) and assistants

Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)

Date: datable to 1698

Culture: China

Medium: Handscroll; ink and color on silk

Dimensions: Image: 26 3/4 in. x 45 ft. 8 3/4 in. (67.9 x 1393.8 cm)

(Source: The Met Museum)