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The Conquests of The Emperor Qianlong
The Conquests of The Emperor Qianlong

A SET OF FOURTEEN ENGRAVINGS AFTER CASTIGLIONE, SICHELBARTH, ATTIRET AND DAMASCENE

Details
The Conquests of The Emperor Qianlong
A Set of Fourteen Engravings after Castiglione, Sichelbarth, Attiret and Damascene
Fourteen engravings, plus a duplicate, from a set of sixteen commissioned to commemorate the Emperor Qianlong's victory in Central Asia (1755-1759), including scenes of battlefields, sieges and encampments, mostly set in rugged, mountainous terrain, as well as victory banquets
Image: all 20.3/8 x 35.3/8in. (51.8 x 88.9cm.) approx.
1. "The Submission of the Ili" ("On reoit la soumission de l'Ili")
Drawn by Sichelbarth, 1765; engraved by Prevost, 1769

2. "Storming the Camp at Gadan-Ola" ("On Force le Camp (établi) A Gadan-Ola")
Drawn by Castiglione, 1765; engraved by Le Bas, 1769

3. "The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu" ("Le Combat d'Oroi-Jalatu")

4. "The Victory of Khorgos" ("La Victoire de Khorgos")
Drawn by Attiret, 1766; engraved by Le Bas, 1774
There are two copies of this engraving.
5. "The Battle of Khurungui" ("Le Combat de Khurungui")
Drawn by Damascene; engraved by Aliamet

7. "The Lifting of the Siege of the Black River (Khara-Usu)" ("La Levée du Siège de la Rivière Noire [Khara-Usu]")

8. "The Great Victory at Qurman" ("La Grande Victoire de Qurman")
Drawn by Damascene, 1765; engraved by St. Aubin, 1770

10. "The Battle of Qos-Qulaq" ("Le Combat de Qos-Qulaq')
Engraved by Prevost, 1774

11. "The Battle of d'Arcul" ("Le Combat d'Arcul")
Drawn by Attiret, 1765; engraved by Aliamet

12. "The Battle of Yesil-Kol-Nor" ("Le Combat de Yesil-Kol-Nor")
Drawn by Damascene; engraved by De Launay, 1772

13. "The Khan of Badakhsan Asks to Surrender" ("Le Khan de Badakhsan Demande a Se Soumettre")
Drawn by Damascene; engraved by Choffard, 1772

14. "The Emperor is Presented with Prisoners from the Pacification of the Muslim Tribes" ("On Offre [A L'Empereur] Les Prisonniers [Faits Lors] De La Pacification Des Tribus Musulmanes")
Drawn by Attiret; engraved by Masquelier

15. "The Emperor in the Suburbs Personally Receives News of the Officers and Soldiers Distinguished in the Campaign against the Muslim Tribes" ("[L'Empereur Se Rend] Dans La Banlieue Pour Prendre [Personnellement] Des Nouvelles des Officiers et des Soldats qui Se Sont Distingués Dans La Campagne Contre Les Tribus Musulmanes")

Drawn by Damascene; engraved by Née, 1772

16. "A Victory Banquet Given by the Emperor for the Distinguished Officers and Soldiers" ("[L'Empereur] Offre Un Banquet de Victoire aux Officiers et Soldats qui Se Sont Distingués")
Engraved by Le Bas, 1770 (15)

Lot Essay

This set of engravings recording the Emperor Qianlong's campaigns (1755-1759) in Central Asia, present-day Xinjiang, was commissioned by the emperor for the palace in Beijing in 1765. The Jesuit missionaries involved in producing the drawings in China were Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Jean-Denis Attiret (1702-1768), Ignace Sichelbarth (1708-1780) and Jean Damascene (d. 1781). The engravings were executed in Paris under the direction of Charles-Nicolas Cochin of the Académie Royal at the Court of Louis XVI and the individual engravers include Le Bas, Aliamet, Prevost, Saint-Aubin, Masquelier, Choffard and De Launay.
The first four of the sixteen designs were sent to Europe in 1765 and arrived in France in the autumn of 1766. Castiglione and Attiret died before the Emperor Qianlong received a complete set of the engravings by 1775. The commission had been for 100 copies of the set but in fact 200 were actually printed to ensure the safe receipt of at least 100. A small number were reserved for the French king, his ministers and court officials and precautions were taken to ensure none were left with the engravers or printers. A French version of the imperial edict concerning the commission is in the National Archives in Paris.

Complete sets of these engravings are relatively rare: a set is in the Bibliothèque Mazarine; another in the Bibliothèque Nationale; a third in the Musée Guimet; and a set given by Louis XVI to Necker, now in Castle Coppet in Switzerland. Another complete set was sold in these rooms 20/21 March 1997, lot 286. And an incomplete set, of thirteen, was sold by Sotheby's, New York, 19 September 1995, lot 339.
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