The Seven Exhibition Rooms in the Summer Palace2016-03-14 14:07:43Share:
The Seven Exhibition Rooms in the Summer Palace
The first exhibition room
The two-story tower, also called the backstage, was the palace for the performers to put on makeup. Now, it is used as the first exhibition room. The colorful costumes of Peking opera, a music box, an old piano, a portrait of Empress Dowager Cixi drawn in 1905 by a Dutch-American artist, Hubert Vos, who painted this 70-year old woman as a young lady, and a pair of cloisonné female beauties are all on display here.
The second exhibition room
The second exhibition room contains the daily necessities of Empress Dowager Cixi when she was in the Summer Palace. Originally, it was the eastern veranda, a long gallery for the princes, dukes and high-ranking officials to watch Peking opera at the invitation of Empress Dowager Cixi when she had the performances here. The wall and windows were added specially for the exhibition. The embroidered silk clothes, embroidered silk shoes, silver and gold dinner sets, western dinner set, hot pot, make up sets, etc., are on display here. It was said that Empress Dowager Cixi had more than 3,000 trunks of clothes, jewellery and rare antiques in the summer palace. Some of her clothes were embroidered with dragon and phoenix designs in gold thread, and there was a shawl with 3,500 big pearls on it. Unfortunately, only a few are on display here.
The third exhibition room
The third exhibition room is the hall of pleasure smile (yiledian). It faces south and stands right opposite the great stage in a distance of less than 20 meters. Empress Dowager Cixi used to sit inside the hall to watch and enjoy the performances. Placed in the center of the hall, the gilded lacquered throne, together with a screen designed with a hundred birds paying homage to the phoenix, were gifts for Empress Dowager Cixi’s 70th birthday.
The 4th , 5th and 6th exhibition rooms
Behind the hall of pleasure smile there is a compound.the main hall in the center of the courtyard is the hall called Qingshantang, a place for Empress Dowager Cixi to have a rest during opera intermission when she came to watch the performances. During the year of 1903~1904, four portraits were drawn by an Americian artist and one of the portraits, done here, was the one that Empress Dowager Cixi liked best, so she ordered it sent to the united states for exhibit. Now, the portrait is still housed in the national museum in Washington. A was figure of Empress Dowager Cixi is placed in Qingshantang for tourists to take pictures.
The seventh exhibition room
The seventh exhibition room is on the west side of the hall of pleasure smile. Originally, there was also a veranda here, but now it is the seventh exhibition room for all kinds of glassware. Galss flowers, glass lights, glass flower-baskets, glass flower-vats, etc; are all on display. They are gifts presented to empress dowager from various European countries.
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