Imperial Refinement - Anthony Van Lam

Anthony Van Lam

Imperial Refinement

Framed: 53 x 43 cmWatercolour on Arches Paper
Qing dynasty tried to ban the hysteria of the lotus shoe practice. Instead, they redesigned a pair of shoes with the same effect as the original Golden Lotus shoe even to the delicate flowing walk which would make them glide on the wind! They also give them height and balance. To balance themselves, they would use a silk handkerchief when they walk. The headpieces were introduced, so it was worn to remind them of their Manchu roots!

In this painting, the Dowager has the final say. They are heavily adorned with coloured embroideries. The new designs of the shoe have a heavier base. It had a better design and influenced a lot of other cultures to create similar designs! Once again the lotus and lotus seeds are used in this painting as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth!