Lang Shining was the Chinese name of the Italian Giuseppe Castiglione, a native of Milan. At the age of 19, he entered the Jesuit order as a novitiate and studied oil painting and architecture. In 1715, he arrived in China as a missionary. Giuseppe Castiglione excelled at painting figures and birds-and-flowers, especially dogs and horses. Since Castiglione had studied Western painting before coming to China, his early works were done with Western techniques. After entering service in the inner court, however, he set upon the study of Chinese painting and gradually formed a new style that synthesized aspects of both Western and Chinese painting. This painting represents a little brown dog between a flowering peach tree and an ornamental garden rock. The coloring scheme is Western overall and has an opulent effect. Done mostly with Western techniques, chiaroscuro (shading to represent the effect of light) and perspective are emphasized. Shadows, for example, appear cast by the tree trunk and the paws of the dog. So realistic, in fact, are the tree, rock, and dog that they appear as if painted after actual subjects. In the lower left corner is Castiglione's signature in Chinese done with Sung-style script. These are all features consistent with his early paintings, so it appears that this is an early work done not long after his arrival in China.
The picture has gone through high resolution image processing and professional color management, and been printed on the high-quality art paper to reproduce the original warm texture and delicate colors.
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