Hung Liu – Sundial
Dimensions: 54 x 54″ finished size
Medium: oil on canvas
The sundial in the foreground of this oil painting is from one of the many remaining statues that lived at The Old Summer Palace (also known as Yuanmingyuan or Yuanmingyuan Park, originally called the Imperial Gardens, and sometimes called the Winter Palace), which was a complex of palaces and gardens in present-day Haidian District, Beijing, China.
The Old Summer Palace was known as the “Versailles of the East”, but its glory and magnificence ceased in 1860. During the Second Opium War, British and French troops invaded Beijing, ransacked the Old Summer Palace, and looted its treasures, which are now displayed in museums around the world.
Some of the ruins and statues remained such as the sundial, and some were collected at art auctions for millions of dollars to wealthy Chinese business people in the late 2000s, to be donated back to the country.