武則天  (Wu Zetian)
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武則天 (Wu Zetian)

Stephen Sebastian Njoto
by stephennjoto on 31 May 2019

Wu Zetian is said to be the only woman in Chinese history to wear the yellow robe as a monarch (otherwise reserved for the sole use of the emperor. I wanted to capture a moment of her where she secretly commissioned a yellow robe, having utmost faith in herself that she would rule over China.

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武則天 (Wu Zetian)

Character design and Key art

Brief

When Wu was fourteen she moved into the imperial palace to serve the Emperor Taizong. She continued her education at the palace until the emperor died in 649. As was the custom, when the emperor died she was sent to a convent to become a nun for the rest of her life. Wu had other plans, however. She became romantic with the new emperor, Emperor Gaozong, and soon found herself back at the imperial palace as consort (like a second wife) to the emperor.

Final painting.

Research

The clothing of both the Emperor in Empress, as well as woman of the Tang dynasty of Ancient China.

Composition exploration in black and white.

Silhouettes and composition iterations.

Painting process

Wu Zetian is said to be the only woman in Chinese history to wear the yellow robe as a monarch (otherwise reserved for the sole use of the emperor

I wanted to capture a moment of her where she secretly commissioned a yellow robe, having utmost faith in herself that she would rule over China.


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