Machang Lays Low the Enemy Ranks

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Machang Lays Low the Enemy Ranks (畫瑪瑺斫陣圖)

Lang Shining (郎世寧, 1688-1766), Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

Handscroll, ink and colors on paper, 38.4 x 285.9 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei

       Machang was a warrior in the Qing troops honored for his effort in pacifying the Western border regions. Accompanying Vice General Fu De in a punitive expedition against the Dzungar tribes, he managed to penetrate deep into enemy troops, leaving his horse behind and eventually being wounded in battle. For his efforts, he was promoted to the rank of Guard Commander-general. At the end of this handscroll is a eulogy from the brush of the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-1795) praising Machang's deeds, ordering that they be rendered in painting to honor him. In the painting, Machang is shown reaching back for an arrow to finish off the wounded enemy he is chasing. Along with the spear on the ground, the combined number of weapons accurately reflects the record of him downing the enemy in three strikes. According to the imperial inscription by the Qianlong Emperor, this painting was done in 1759.

Lang Shining: Machang Lays Low the Enemy Ranks