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Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

Once there was a world treasure of China's Yuanmingyuan, even the famous French writer Victor Hugo could not help but marvel at its beauty, he once moved to say, "Even if all the treasures of Notre Dame in our country are added together, it can not be comparable to this magnificent and magnificent Oriental Museum.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

In 2016, at an auction in the UK, a set of photos documenting the Yuanmingyuan when it was not burned sold for a whopping $1.76 million, surprising people not only with the huge price tag, but also with the beauty of the Yuanmingyuan as it once was, like a fairyland, not like earth.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

But this garden, which was built by order of the Qing emperor, has some Western-style buildings, why is that?

The Yuanmingyuan was built during the Kangxi and Yongzheng periods and grew to its peak during the Qianlong period with the addition of the Changchun Garden and the Qichun Garden. To the north of the Yuanmingyuan site, there is a Western-style building complex called the Western-style Building Scenic Area, which was built during the Qianlong period and is the most surviving relic of the Yuanmingyuan site.

Many people's first impressions of Yuanmingyuan also come from here, the elementary school language textbook once selected into the text "the destruction of Yuanmingyuan", the text illustration also photographed from the Western building complex.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

The Qianlong Emperor used to implement the "closed-door" state policy, to foreign envoys also in line with the attitude of "the richness of the Heavenly Kingdom has everything", why would such a group of Western buildings be built?

It is only a "misinterpretation" of the closed country. The Qianlong Emperor never promulgated a closed-door policy, nor did he ever say that he would not have any kind of contact with other countries.

If the Qing Dynasty was really closed to the outside world, how did the huge trade balance the Qing court made from world trade during the Qianlong period come about?

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

At that time, China created one-third of the world's economic output, Chinese silk, tea and porcelain were popular in Europe, and the royal families were eager for these goods from China. These trade surpluses for the Qing court to accumulate a large amount of wealth, with these riches, the Qing imperial family to build a large scale construction of the Yuanmingyuan.

It can be said that without the accumulation of such wealth, the Qianlong Emperor would not have had the courage to build the Yuanmingyuan on a large scale.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

In addition, during the Qing Dynasty, a steady stream of missionaries were sent from the West into China. Many Qing emperors became interested in Western culture, and after entering the Qing court, these missionaries either became the emperor's imperial teachers, explaining Western scientific knowledge to the emperor daily, or directly in charge of the Qintian Supervision, which was crucial to Chinese politics, or became imperial painters.

Among these foreigners working for the Qing court, Lang Shining was undoubtedly one of the most beloved painters of the emperor. He spent the most powerful period of the Qing dynasty in China, painting for three emperors, Kang, Yong and Qian, and was the designer of the Western Building in the Yuanmingyuan.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

During the Yongzheng period, Yongzheng had ordered the expansion of the Yuanmingyuan, which was the first contact between Lang Shining and the Yuanmingyuan. During the expansion period, Lang Shining not only lived in the Yuanmingyuan, but also painted many decorative paintings for many palaces.

He befriended the Emperor Qianlong, who was still an imperial son, and gained his trust. After Qianlong's accession to the throne, Lang Shining was promoted to the position of imperial painter.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

It is said that one day Qianlong looked at the Western paintings offered by the missionaries and was so impressed by the beauty of the fountain that he hastily summoned Lang Shining and asked him about the operation of the fountain. After Lang Shining's explanation, Qianlong wanted to build such a fountain in his own royal garden.

He ordered Lang Shining, who was proficient in painting but not in making fountains, to complete the construction. After many inquiries, Lang Shining found a French priest, Jiang Youren, who had recently arrived in China, and recommended him to Qianlong to join in the construction.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

Later on, many missionaries and Chinese architects and craftsmen were involved one after another. These foreign missionaries worked diligently, and the materials they used for the construction were mostly those they brought with them to China or books and magazines owned by the Christian institutions in Beijing.

However, the landscape of the Western Building was said to be designed by Lang Shining, a group of missionaries, but in fact the chief planner behind it was the Qianlong Emperor. The order and location of these buildings were decided by the Qianlong Emperor, while the appearance of the buildings was first drawn out by the missionaries, and then modified by the Qianlong Emperor.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

These Western landscapes are not strictly speaking considered Western architecture, as they incorporate many elements of Chinese gardens, and are a masterpiece of Western architecture and Eastern gardens in one.

What did the Qianlong Emperor feel when he saw the first completed Western landscape?

The first building to be constructed and completed in the West Ocean Building landscape was the Harmonic Chic. Harmony Chic is a European-style water law hall with not only an octagonal hall where Chinese and Western musical instruments are played, but also a large fountain in the shape of a begonia.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

According to Jiang Youren's account, when it was completed, the Qianlong Emperor was very satisfied with the magnificent and luxurious architectural style, which was to the Emperor's liking.

Emperor Qianlong could not only enjoy the beauty of the fountain from anywhere in the European-style Water Law Hall, but also listen to exotic music while enjoying the view.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

A number of fountains were built in the landscape of the Western Building, the most notable of which is the fountain in front of Haiyan Hall, where the head of the beast in Yuanmingyuan, which has touched the hearts of countless Chinese people, came from.

This group of fountains used the animal heads of the twelve zodiac signs as the head of the fountain, the design is unique, deeply loved by the emperor. The Qianlong Emperor once hosted a banquet here for missionaries to China, and it is said that the missionaries who saw this group of fountains were all shocked by it, saying that it was comparable to the fountain in front of Versailles, France. Hearing such comments from the missionaries, Emperor Qianlong felt very proud.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

These missionaries to and from the Qing imperial family influenced the emperor's aesthetic tendencies to a certain extent, so that the emperor did not reject Western architecture.

These missionaries also brought Western construction techniques, without which the fountains presented in the Western paintings would not have appeared in the Yuanmingyuan and there would not have been such magnificent buildings as the Western Building Landscape.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

Once we faced the Western art attitude is admiration, is respect, is open-minded to learn and integrate into their own culture, and finally cast the western people are amazed by the Western building landscape; while a hundred years ago the British and French allied forces and the Eight-Power Allied Forces see this artistic treasures, but the plunder and destruction, leaving is a broken wall, is a ruin.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

Passing away is like a day and night. Yuanmingyuan once burned all night in the fire has been extinguished in the long history of the Yuanmingyuan, which is known as the Garden of Ten Thousand Yuanmingyuan apparently can not be recreated.

Yuanmingyuan disappeared, but it still remains in people's hearts, Yuanmingyuan once suffered a catastrophe is not only a scar on the national body, but also the world is ashamed of the atrocities, once boasted that the advanced civilization of Westerners in front of the world's artistic treasures to commit a number of crimes.

Britain releases photos of the Yuanmingyuan before it was destroyed, beautiful as a wonderland, but why does it have a western architectural style?

The broken wall of the Yuanmingyuan is a reminder of the suffering of the Chinese people in the past, and is a constant wake-up call for the Chinese nation.

Reference.

[1] Chang Hua, An analysis of the reasons for the design and construction of the Western Building in Yuanmingyuan, Suzhou Museum website, June 12, 2015

Author: Justin Reviewed by henna Proofreader: Li Zi