Seated Portrait of Emperor Gaozong

AnonymousAD 960-AD 1283

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

After remnants of the Song court moved the south, Gaozong (Zhao Gou, 1107-1187), the first emperor of the Southern Song, actively searched for artists in an effort to reconstruct the court painting academy. He also strove to reassemble an imperial collection from the scattered works of painting and calligraphy, resulting in the quick rise and continued development of artistic activities in the Southern Song. This portrait shows Emperor Gaozong wearing a black gauze cap with long horizontal slats and a crimson robe. With his gentle and refined scholarly appearance, his eyes seem to sparkle with life. This work was once severely damaged at some point in its history. When remounted in the Qing dynasty, the originally damaged background was removed and replaced with silk, to which coloring was washed in ink to match the rest. Although some difference appears in the colors, the originally coloring can fortunately still be seen in the surviving portion.


  • Title: Seated Portrait of Emperor Gaozong
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Date Created: AD 960-AD 1283
  • Physical Dimensions: 185.7 x 103.5 cm
  • Type:
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: ink and colors on silk
  • Dynasty: Song dynasty

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