The Beijing opera started to become popular in the Qing court since the middle of 18th century. Figures from Beijing opera are various. The master of Beijing opera, Mr. Mei Lanfang collected 44 opera figurative paintings that originally belong to the Qing court when the last emperor Pu Yi was on the throne. According to the research, there were more than 300 opera figurative paintings in the Shoukang Palace, where the emperor’s mother lived in the Forbidden City. These works were painted by court painters during 1861-1875. Mr.Mei’s collection is part of them and is national treasure.
In order to memorize Mr. Mei’s contribution to Chinese opera and let art collectors and opera fans can see these valuable works, the Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum collaborated with Yachang to arrange the original work by employing new technology so that these masterpieces are able to show for the audience.
In this catalogue, we introduce the costumes, facial makeup, and plot of Beijing opera briefly in order to help the reader understand the opera better as well as Chinese culture.