Female Figures in Chinese Qing Dynasty Armor Art

  •  Wenxi Wu    
  •  Xinhou Wang    


In ancient China, traditional costumes have an important function of marking the identity of the noble and commoner status hierarchy. Before modern times, the shape, fabric, and color of folk women's clothing were not clearly defined, but they were subject to folklore and had many taboos.  The wives of ministers or members of royalty were expected to comport themselves according to their husbands' official status and were forbidden from breaking any restrictions. But in the visual archives of the last feudal dynasty of ancient China, we have astonishing discoveries about the new image of Chinese women in the Qing Dynasty — Artworks of Qing Dynasty women in armor, their historical background, and artistic qualities bring us a lot of unprecedented inspiration and reflection. Based on the textual research on the hierarchical system of armor in the Qing Dynasty, combined with the background of national culture, this paper analyzes that the appearance of the image of female armor in the Qing Dynasty is a politicized performance of the ruling class, and its essence is still the projection of the aesthetic interest of feudal patriarchy.

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