Musée No:819.005

Musée No:819.005

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Family Portrait

Artist: Unknown Chinese 

Date:17th Century

Who is this imposing Chinese family? What is the relationship between them? Were they as stern as they look? Which one was the mischievous uncle? Was there a doting grandfather amongst them? So many questions spring to mind. It may, in fact, be a ‘painted’ family tree, the ancestors being at the back. This 17th century portrait was originally painted on raw silk in China.

Klass Ruitenbeek, the curator of the “Faces of China” exhibition (Berlin 2018), explained that Chinese portrait painters depicted people from all walks of life, not necessarily as "Art" but “They were the portraits of parents and grandparents created to be worshipped through rituals, year after year on holidays. … Your family is part of your identity to a much greater degree than is the case here.”

We are unable to find out exactly who the subjects are but there some clues as to their status. A very simple version is that in Chinese society there were 9 ranks of officials, split into three colour groups - higher ranks red, mid ranks blue, lower ranks green. The gentleman in red clothes with the gold embroidered decorative elements shows off his high rank in the public service hierarchy. His actual rank is depicted by the embroidery on his chest – if those fabulous birds are cranes he is First Rank (for example an Emperor's Assistant), a wild goose means Fourth Rank. The blue gowned subject may have been a scholar. Forms of this ranking system persisted right up until the early 20th century. The hats also tell a story and if you look closely the belt fastenings are different too - more information there perhaps ?

Borders & Mounts

None of our prints come with separate mounts. Some have a printed border which replaces the need for a mount, and some are borderless pieces. In either case the edge to edge size of the prints is 'A' sized as stated. If you should want a mount around your print, then you just need to buy a mount for the 'A' size you choose and then a frame to go with that.

What size frame do I need ?

Each piece of artwork in the Musée gallery has been resized to work perfectly with International 'A' paper sizes. All you need to think about when framing your Musée artwork is that it needs to be in the appropriate A sized frame. This means that no part of your artwork will be lost to cropping when choosing frame sizes. It also means that everything will work proportionately in gallery walls, and print sets. There are many budget, off the shelf A sized frames on sites like Etsy and Ebay which we very happily recommend for our prints.

We also now produce our own collection of high quality, professionally framed artwork, ready to hang.

To see our collection of quality frames - CLICK HERE

Print Quality

Our approach to printing is built on the ability to faithfully reproduce artworks using the finest inks and papers available today. A world away from mass produced posters we take pride in producing beautiful, affordable, fine art prints in-house, for discerning interior lovers everywhere.

Giclée Printing - In order to achieve this consistent, outstanding quality we produce every archival pigment print (alternatively know as giclée) to order using the same ink, paper and printing techniques used by museums all over the world. (Giclée is pronounced gee-clay with a soft G) Our archival giclée prints are loved for their vibrant tonal range and the handmade feel of their beautiful textured papers. The quality of a giclée print is far superior to all other forms of printing and when done authentically it is the closest reproduction printing method possible for matching to an original artwork.

Acid Free Paper - Each piece of Musée Art is printed to order on 312 GSM Paper. GSM is a measurement of the thickness of the paper. It is based on calculating the amount a sheet of paper would weigh, in grams, if it was exactly one square metre in size. Paper with a higher GSM will generally be thicker and therefore more difficult to crease or tear. Museum grade acid free papers are made from 100% cotton pulp rather than wood-based products. High quality cotton fibre paper is known to last hundreds of years without appreciable fading, discolouration, or deterioration due to the fact no chemicals are used in its production. Unlike wood based, mass produced alternatives,which will deteriorate, fade and change colour over time.

Inks - Archival pigment printing (giclée) uses inks which have longevity rates calculated at over 100 years. This printing technique must utilise eight or more different ink colours which are colour profiled to match the archival paper to achieve a perfectly colour accurate reproduction of the original piece of art. 

Mount Board - All Musée museum quality prints are professionally mounted on 2.4mm acid free art board ready to free stand or frame. Mounted prints also help to preserve the qualty of the edges and keep the prints perfectly flat with no risk of cockling. Cockling is the process by which a print starts to ripple due to changing levels of ambient moisture which are naturally present in the air in all our homes. Also, when you decide to either change your Musée artwork in your frames or swap them out for a new find, a Musée mounted print will stay flat and safe whilst in storage.

Stacked image of fanned white 312 gms paper showing the high quality and softly woven texture of the surface of the paper.

312 gsm Paper

All muséee prints are reproduced on the finest quality 312 gsm museum archival acid free paper.

Mount Board

All Musée prints are mounted on acid free 2.4 mm mount board ready for
framing or free standing display.

Image of a single sheet of cotton rag paper showing the soft woven texture of the surface.

Cotton Rag

100% natural cotton based paper has a beautiful fine textured finish.