In 1945, Pyotr Konchalovsky (1876-1956) painted a full-length studio portrait of Hu Zipang lying on chaise longue.  While he worked on the portrait, the Chinese ambassador to the USSR, Fu Bingchang photographed the scene.   Hu Zipang was Fu’s attache at the embassy in Moscow, as well as being his lover, a war correspondent, and a Communist agent who was spying on Fu.

The negatives survived the fall of Nationalist China and ended up in a trunk in Lincoln, England.  The four photographs (and many others by Fu) were digitised by the Historical Photographs of China project, at the University of Bristol, and are now online at (search for Konchalovsky, or for the four image reference numbers: Fu-n322, Fu-n324, Fu-n326 and Fu-n327).  In the background of Fu-n322, Konchalovsky’s painting ‘Hercules and Omphale’ (1928) can be seen on the wall.

Historical Photographs of China project, University of Bristol Images copyright of Yee Wah Foo, a relative of the photographer Fu Bingchang. Text by Jamie Carstairs, Digitisation Officer, Special Collections, Arts and Social Sciences Library, University of Bristol Historical Photographs of China Visualising China Treasures from Special Collections (supported by the University of Bristol Alumni Fund)