No. 23 – The Forbidden City, Beijing

Forbidden City Beijing - Illustration by Jonathan Chapman

The Forbidden City is a palace complex in central Beijing, China. The former Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty (1420 to 1912), it now houses the Palace Museum. The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers over 180 acres. The palace exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987.

Here’s my illustration of the sun baked cityscape of Beijing, a colourful view over the rooftops of the wonderful Forbidden City. This famous Chinese palace is a fascinating collection of ancient wooden structures with unique architectural shapes. I particularly enjoyed the bands of colour this scene provides… from the hazy blues on the horizon, to the dramatic reds and the lush greens in the foreground. The original artwork is 39 x 29 cm, painted with acrylic and ink on paper.

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Next up: No.24 – Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.