Detail: A ground-breaking exhibition at St Hugh's College, University of Oxford, about Michael Alphonsus Shen Fuzong, the first Chinese visitor to England known by name. It focusses on the six weeks Shen spend in Oxford as the guest of Thomas Hyde, Librarian of the Bodleian Library, and features a life-size portrait of Shen by Sir Godfrey Kneller, commissioned by James II in 1687 and today part of the Royal Collection. It appears alongside exhibits from leading collections and archives brought together for the first time.
Michael Shen Fuzong was a Christian convert, brought to Europe as part of a campaign to gain support for the Jesuit missions in China, to which James II as a Roman Catholic was keen to show his favour. The portrait of Shen has long been recognised as one of the glories of James II's short reign, and a key image in the growing fascination with China in the West.