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Mulan can also be seen on the wall of the Chinese lacquer cabinet of Esterházy Castle in Fertőd – this is already treated as a fact, but it may well be that Miklós Esterházy “Fényes” did not know that a legendary heroine could be seen in his study.
The XVIII. In the twentieth century, wealthy Europeans collected Chinese luxury goods, as on these continents, these items were then seen as status symbols. Lacquer screens were popular and were often cut and built into wooden wall coverings – this is how the Fertőd Esterházy Castle also its Chinese lacquer cabinet, located in the ducal suite.
The boards covering the walls of the room are extremely rich in detail: exotic landscapes, animals and plants can also be seen on them, in addition to many depictions of people. Their world of motifs is intertwined around two themes: hunting scenes on five boards and “Garden of Pleasures” on three, so scenes set in the female suites of the Chinese court.
Despite the passion for collecting, buyers of luxury goods were generally unaware of the rich legend and history of vast and distant China. Therefore, it could easily be that Miklós “Fényes” Esterházy never found out that his lacquer cabinet also had a depiction of a legendary heroine. One of the boards shows Mulan – a scene that captures the return of a Chinese historical figure has only been identified by modern research.
Györgyi Fajcsák elaborated the Eszterháza lacquer panels in detail in his volume Mulan at Eszterháza, published by the Eszterháza Cultural, Research and Festival Center Public Benefit Nonprofit Ltd. in 2018, ie they thoroughly explored their parallels and similarities in Chinese painting – the Mulan present. identified on the basis of previews.
Mulan’s life in the IV. and VI. century. His father served as a soldier, so he also gained proficiency in martial arts. The legend of the heroine stems from the fact that when the steppe tribes invaded the country, she wore a man’s suit and went to war instead of her elderly father, for she feared her. Mulan is therefore regarded in Chinese culture as an example of child reverence as well as courage.
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