Han dynasty

Xu Pingjun, Huo Chengjun, Empress Wang Zhengjun (Xuan)

Empresses of Emperor Xuan

Their Stories

Empress Wang (王皇后, personal name unknown) (died 22 September 16 BC[1]), formally Empress Xiaoxuan (孝宣皇后), semi-formally Empress Dowager Qiongcheng (邛成太后), to distinguish her from her daughter-in-law Wang Zhengjun, with the same family name, but otherwise unrelated to her) was an empress during the Western Han Dynasty. She was the third wife of Emperor Xuan.

Huo Chengjun (Chinese: 霍成君) (died 54 BC) was an empress of the Chinese Western Han dynasty. She was the second wife of Emperor Xuan. Her father was the statesman Huo Guang, who served as regent for Emperor Zhao and who remained exceedingly powerful during Emperor Xuan’s reign until his death in April 68 BC.[1] Her mother’s name was Xian (顯).

Xu Pingjun (Chinese: 許平君) (89? BC – 1 March 71 BC[1]), formally Empress Gong’ai (恭哀皇后; literally, the Respectful and Lamentable Empress) and sometimes (but not at all times) Empress Xiaoxuan (孝宣皇后), was an empress of the Chinese Western Han dynasty. She was the first wife of Emperor Xuan. She was murdered by poisoning by Huo Guang‘s wife Xian (顯). She was also the mother of Emperor Yuan.

Their Spouse

Emperor Xuan of Han (Liu Xun 劉詢, né Liu Bingyi 劉病已; born 91 BC – 10 January 48 BC) was the tenth emperor of the Chinese Han dynasty, reigning from 74 to 48 BC, and was one of the only four Western Han emperors to receive a temple name (along with Emperor Gaozu, Emperor Wen and Emperor Wu). During his reign, the Han dynasty prospered economically and militarily became a regional superpower, and was considered by many to be the peak period of the entire Han history. His time of rule, along with his predecessor Emperor Zhao’s are known by historians as Zhaoxuan Restoration (昭宣中興). He was succeeded by his son Emperor Yuan after his death in 48 BC.

About this Portrait

Chinese watercolor, on silk. The Chinese Empresses Collection
Painted by Xiang Li
75 x 36 inches

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