Rare Books

Shengping Shu Lianpu (Albums of Beijing Opera Characters from the Shengping Bureau)

Ink, colour, white pigment and gold on silk edition between Xianfeng Period (1851-1861) and Tongzhi Period (1862-1874), Qing Dynasty.

The Shengping Shu (Shengping Bureau) was the name of the court theatrical office established in the 7th year of Daoguang Period (1827) to take charge of theatrical performances in the Qing palace. The characters featured in these two albums of Shengping Shu Lianpu are all actors in the Beijing Opera. Their costumes and facial make-up are very elaborated and codified for the roles and certain colours have specific associations or connotations.