Photograph, black and white silver gelatin print, 'Looking south from Coal Hill over the Forbidden City', by Hedda Morrison, Peking, China, 1933-1946
This is a view of the main northern gate of the Forbidden City (Zijincheng), the Imperial Palace. Construction of the Forbidden City began in 1406. In 1925 it was renamed the Palace Museum (Gugong bowuyuan) and opened to the public. In the 1950s the trees lining the city's southern boundary were bulldozed to make way for Changan Boulevard and Tiananmen Square, which now contains the Monument to the Heroes of the People and Mao ZedongĀ?s mausoleum. These new edifices, which seek to claim the imperial power associated with the Forbidden City, disrupt the perfect line of vision seen in this photograph.
This is one of a large number of photographs that were taken by Hedda Morrison (1908-1991) during her years of residence in Peking (Beijing), China 1933-1946.
Exhibited in 'Peking: 1933-1946 - A photographic Impression', Menzies Library, Australian National University, 17-30 June 1967.
A similar image is reproduced in Hedda Morrison, 'A photographer in Old Peking', Hong Kong, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 35, with the caption: 'The Forbidden City, view south from Coal Hill'.