Unusual and rare, this painting portrays an important early Chinese Qing Dynasty Imperial Princess or Imperial Court Lady, probably from the 17th-18th century as ancestor portraits were the norm for members of the court from that time.
This lady wears a characteristic Ming Dynasty court robe in color blue decorated with four-clawed dragons (mang) and a tall head piece which shows her social status and noble class. Also, the hands and feet are hidden from the picture as that was the norm at the time for female portraits. Among one of the most notorious characteristics on this kind of portrait the face was portrayed with a somber and unattached look, in order to represent an otherworldly status.
This piece appears to be from the early Qing period (17th century), because the technique utilized on this portrait fits the Bochen School style that was epitomized by the late-Ming figure painter Zeng Jing (1568-1650), He and his followers used light ink to outline the bone structure and features of their subjects, followed by layers of light brownish color to render skin color.
Hand painted on silk, it features a brocade backing and exquisite trimmings and fringe in antique gold color, probably added later. There are no signatures and/or markings on the painting.
Painting is in good condition commensurate with its age, there are hairline cracks which are barely noticeable (in my opinion these add more character to this piece), one of the painting hangers are missing however it could be hang from the wooden stick as shown in pictures.
Total Length: 56" (from the wood hanger to the end of fringe, measurement includes 9" fringe) Width: 20"