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Schall von Bell in Mandarin costume

Jesuit priests based in China adopted the characteristic dress of the Chinese literati in 1594. This 17th-century portrait of Johann Adam Schall von Bell, the predecessor of Verbiest at the Imperial Board of Astronomy, shows him dressed even more elaborately in the mandarin robes which his official position entitled him to wear.

Hand coloured engraving from Athanasius Kircher, Toonneel van China (1667/8). Courtesy of the Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California.