Painting of the Great Wall on Silk

Inventory Number: 114427 (AS 10590)

EKTA 12X10 13156

 

This scroll was once part of the collection of Cardinal Stefano Borgia. This long, horizontal scroll is a significant piece in the Vatican Museums’ collection because of its high empirical value and historical interest. The object is part of the oldest section of the Ethnological Museum, as shown in the January 14, 1792 letter from the Cardinal. The work from the 17th century is a detailed geographical map featuring the Great Wall of China, cities, rivers, and encampments. The markings and captions provide researchers with a wealth of knowledge about the pictured territory. One interesting peculiarity of this piece is the orientation of the map: the north is on the lower part of the work according to Chinese cartographers.  Currently the Ethnological Museum is under renovation, but it is expected that this piece will return on display in the near future.