Documenting Victory in Etching

Year of production2015

This year, 2015, to commemorate both the 90th anniversary of the National Palace Museum’s founding and the three hundredth year since the Italian painter Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766) came to the Qing court and left his enduring influence, the NPM has produced Victory in Etching, a documentary in 4K high-resolution film. The centerpiece of this documentary is Victory in the Pacification of Dzungars and Muslims, which was drafted by Castiglione and various other court painters and completed by French engravers. Our research team reconstructed the stories behind the work by piecing together evidence culled from historical documents and overseas research. The narrator of this documentary is a special guest, the top news anchor Shen Chunhua, winner of the Golden Bell Awards. The documentary recounts Qianlong's northwestern military campaigns, the commission and production of the sixteen Victory plates, and insights into the copperplate engraving method. The film crew visited Europe to do the shooting, filming at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Ethnologisches Museum in Germany, and various printing workshops. Out of the sixteen prints requested by Qianlong, Storming of the Camp at Gadan-Ola and Lifting of the Siege at Black Water River were entirely drafted by Castiglione using a naturalist style and featuring the western technique of perspective. Today, this documentary will allow us once again to witness the achievements of 18th century cooperation in Eastern and Western art.