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Palace of Eternal Harmony, Beijing
Place of Origin: China
Date: before 1927
Materials: Tinted photograph
Dimensions: H. 18 1/2 in x W. 14 1/2 in, H. 47 cm x W. 36.8 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Photography
Object Number: B60M510
On Display: No

Description

Label: This photograph shows a Tibetan Buddhist monk and one of the several imposing incense burners in the courtyards of the Palace of Eternal Harmony (Yonghe gong; also known as the Lama Temple), the largest Tibetan-style monastery in Beijing. The complex was the princely residence of Qing dynasty's Yongzheng emperor until he began his reign (1723–1735) and was the birthplace of his son, the future Qianlong emperor (r. 1736–1795). In 1744 the Qianlong emperor proclaimed that the palace be transformed into a Buddhist monastery. It was also the site where his father's coffin was placed while its final resting place was completed, in honor of which the original blue roof tiles were replaced by the yellow ones (associated with imperial grandeur among other things), seen in this photograph. The monastery is planned along a central northsouth axis connecting its five successive main halls, which are separated by courtyards. Incense burners stand in each courtyard, for use (even today) by worshipers. The multitiered example seen here is among the larger and more elaborate ones at the Lama Temple. Its form resembles that of prayer halls in temple complexes.

More Information

Exhibition History: "Photographic Memories" Rotation 2 (Tateuchi Gallery, August 27, 2009 - January 17, 2010)
Label: This photograph shows a Tibetan Buddhist monk and one of the several imposing incense burners in the courtyards of the Palace of Eternal Harmony (Yonghe gong; also known as the Lama Temple), the largest Tibetan-style monastery in Beijing. The complex was the princely residence of Qing dynasty's Yongzheng emperor until he began his reign (1723–1735) and was the birthplace of his son, the future Qianlong emperor (r. 1736–1795). In 1744 the Qianlong emperor proclaimed that the palace be transformed into a Buddhist monastery. It was also the site where his father's coffin was placed while its final resting place was completed, in honor of which the original blue roof tiles were replaced by the yellow ones (associated with imperial grandeur among other things), seen in this photograph. The monastery is planned along a central northsouth axis connecting its five successive main halls, which are separated by courtyards. Incense burners stand in each courtyard, for use (even today) by worshipers. The multitiered example seen here is among the larger and more elaborate ones at the Lama Temple. Its form resembles that of prayer halls in temple complexes.
Exhibition History: "Photographic Memories" Rotation 2 (Tateuchi Gallery, August 27, 2009 - January 17, 2010)