The Tiantán Temple in Beijing
  • Erich Kips
  • Berlin 1869 - 1945
  • The Tiantán Temple in Beijing
  • Oil on board,
  • signed lower right: Erich / Kips
  • 350 × 500 mm

Even before the turn of the century, Erich Kips was known as a well-travelled man. He had obtained his education at the academy in Karlsruhe as well as under Gabriel Ferrier and Eugène Giradet in Paris. In 1893, Kips received the commission to decorate several structures at the world’s fair in Chicago and used this as the occasion for extended tours through all of North America. Upon his return to Europe, Kips began three years of travel and study in Italy before settling, shortly before the turn of the century, as a painter and illustrator with his own studio in Berlin. He regularly contributed to the exhibitions in Munich’s Glaspalast as well in his native city’s large art exhibition after 1901. Kips obtained the prestigious commission for multiple monumental wall paintings in the new house of representatives in Berlin. However, he would later specialise in marine pictures and harbour views, for example of Hamburg and London.

The Tiantán or Temple of Heaven on its large marble terrace is still one of the most famous emblems of the Chinese capital. The temple complex with its double walls was erected in 1420 by Emperor Yongle and served the various dynasties as a site to pray for good harvests.

Even after repeated reconstruction, the current temple corresponds in form and colour to the original building.