A Symbol in Mass Production: Ruyi Images in the Inner and Outer Cities Under the Qianlong Reign
Qianlong's predilection for the Chinese auspicious symbol ruyi was satisfied by court artists and echoed in the country at large by the mass production of the New Year Picture workshops. This imperial cult manifests Qianlong's authority on the country and the Han subjects' recognition of the Manchu emperor.
"One or Two" - Portrait of Qianlong Emperor, Qianlong period (1736-1795), hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper, Palace Museum. Photograph by the author