A black-and-white photograph showing a water canal flowing past the Wu Gate. The Wu Gate, or “Meridian Gate”, is the first and main entrance to the Forbidden City (Gugong 故宫 or Zijincheng 紫禁城). The space between the Wu Gate and the next passage is referred to as the “fifth courtyard” in the handwritten inventory of Skušek’s album. Photography was taken during the mourning ceremony for the Dowager Empress Longyu (reigned 1908–1912).
The photograph is the 426th of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Trauerfeier für Kaiserin Yung-Lu: Kanal im 5. Hofe. (DZ, MV)