Dynastic rituals involving ancestral homage were major ceremonies in
imperial China, and ruling clans often commissioned imperial portraits.
Although the Mongols of the Yuan dynasty were not native Chinese, they also
continued this practice. The imperial Yuan portraits here are products of
this functional need. In "Portrait of Emperor Shih-tsu (Khubilai Khan)" and
"Portrait of Khubilai Khan's Consort (Chabi)", the eye sockets and cheeks
were done using washes and rubbing, which differs from the traditional
Chinese manner of single lines to delineate forms. Rather, it is closer to
the artistic heritage of the Nepali and Tibetan region. Since the Mongols
brought artists to court from different areas, the works that they had made
at court therefore came to reflect a new style through the addition of
non-native methods to traditional Chinese painting.