Landscape with Summer Villa, c. 1730


The first emperor of the Qin dynasty (221–207 BCE) has escaped the summer heat at his palace in Mount Li in Xi’an, the capital of the Qin. The painting is dominated by the atmospheric mountain, but look closely to see the emperor sitting in his palace surrounded by a large number of female courtesans. The realistic portrayal of these figures allows for a glimpse into the lives of these women. They are depicted making tea, providing refreshment and entertainment; we can see their clothing, utensils, and hairstyles. And while they are scattered throughout the palace in various chambers, they all seem to have the purpose of serving the emperor.

Landscape with Summer Villa
Artist Life
active c. 1690 – c. 1746
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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