Portrait of Koxinga
L 100cm × W 60cm , Colors on paper , 17th Century
There are many existing versions of Koxinga portraits. This Portrait of Koxinga collected by the Museum is colored on paper with an unframed length of 100 cm and a width of 60 cm, which might have been commissioned by Koxinga in Tainan according to textual research. It is the oldest one among various portraits of Koxinga and an ancestor portrait of the Zheng family in Taiwan passing down from generation to generation. During the Japanese period, under the order of Governor-General Sakuma, the portrait was donated by the Zheng family to Taiwan Shrine in the summer of 1911 as a national treasure. In the end of Japanese period, it was transferred to the Governor-General’s Office Museum from Taiwan Shrine as collection. A replica of this portrait was painted by a Japanese painter, Masaki Nasu, which is now collected by Koxinga Shrine in Tainan.
This painting depicts Koxinga in the frontal, seated pose that wears a beard, a beaded hat, a jade belt and a green round-collar robe with clear animal patterns in the chest and sits on a chair covered with an animal skin (tiger or leopard). In terms of painting style, this portrait is similar to an ancestor portrait of the Chinese folk culture, but looks more like a royal portrait of the Ming dynasty regarding the type of hat and dress. The facial features are also depicted as the conceptual portrayal of an ideal figure influenced by the physiognomy that emphasizes spiritual resemblance rather than formal resemblance, which is the goal of royal portraits.