This scroll is part of a group of paintings commemorating the military success of Qing forces in the northwestern frontier of China between 1755 to 1759. As a result of these military campaigns, the Yili Valley and Eastern Turkestan came under Chinese contral and was renamed Xinjing.
According to the research of Nie Chongzhen of the Palace Museum, Beijing, a total of two hundred and eighty meritorious servitors' portraits were painted during Emperor Qianlong's reign. These paintings can be divided into three groups: one hundred of those who put down the Heibu rebellion of western China (the first fifty were inscribed by Qianlong); one hundred of thoses who quelled the Daxiao Jingchuan rebellion (the first fifty also inscribed by Qianlong); fifty of those who ended the Taiwan rebellion, and the remaining thirty of those who stopped the Guo'er rebellion.
Of all the portraits painted, only twenty can bow be accounted for, mostly in public and private institutions. This is one of the few only remaining meritorious servitor portraits left in private hands. Of the other know hanging scrolls:
two are in the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada;
three are in the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, Germany;
two are in the Museum fur Volkerkunst, Hamburg, Germany;
one is in the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Cologne, Germany;
one is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, U.S.A.;
one is in the Museum Zamek Zbeastarsky, Russia;
two are in the Museum of History, Tianjin, China;
three are in a private collection in the U.S.A.;
two are in private collections in Hong Kong;
two whose whereabouts are still not know;
and the present lot.
The inscription above the painting honours the soldier for his role in military action in Kucha