Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Historical photographs of Konchalovsky in China digitised by University of Bristol

In 1945, Pyotr Konchalovsky (1876-1956) painted a full-length studio portrait of Hu Zipang lying on chaise longue.  While he worked on the portrait, the Chinese ambassador to the USSR, Fu Bingchang photographed the scene.   Hu Zipang was Fu's attache at the embassy in Moscow, as well as being his lover, a war correspondent, and a Communist agent who was spying on Fu.

The negatives survived the fall of Nationalist China and ended up in a trunk in Lincoln, England.  The four photographs (and many others by Fu) were digitised by the Historical Photographs of China project, at the University of Bristol, and are now online at (search for Konchalovsky, or for the four image reference numbers: Fu-n322, Fu-n324, Fu-n326 and Fu-n327).  In the background of Fu-n322, Konchalovsky's painting 'Hercules and Omphale' (1928) can be seen on the wall.

Historical Photographs of China project, University of Bristol
Images copyright of Yee Wah Foo, a relative of the photographer Fu Bingchang.

Text by Jamie Carstairs, Digitisation Officer, Special Collections, Arts and Social Sciences Library, University of Bristol 

Historical Photographs of China
Visualising China
Treasures from Special Collections
(supported by the University of Bristol Alumni Fund)

1 comment:

  1. It is likely that Konchalovsky painted this portrait in or near Moscow.