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Mary S. Lawton and Marco Musillo

[Lang Shining; Lang Shih-ning]

(b Milan, Jul 19, 1688; d Beijing, Jul 16, 1766).

Italian painter, architect, and Jesuit lay brother, active also in Portugal and China. Castiglione is one of the few Western artists to be included in the Chinese imperial collections. In the catalogue raisonné of the Imperial Collection of Paintings published in the Jiaqing reign (1796–1820) are listed forty-seven titles and fifty-six pieces by Castiglione.

Castiglione entered the Society of Jesus in 1707 after having received full training as a painter in Milan. While in Milan he studied late 17th-century painting techniques and later identified himself as a pupil of Andrea Pozzo, also a lay brother, who is best known for his decoration of the ceiling of the Jesuit church of St. Ignazio in Rome. A group of large paintings from Genoa commissioned for the refectory and church of the local Jesuit noviciate indicate that Castiglione’s style was competent if not innovative. Documentary evidence also attest commissions received in Portugal for frescoes of the life of St. Ignatius Loyola that decorated the chapel of the Jesuit Novitiate in Coimbra, Portugal, now part of the ...