Nearing the end of the scroll, we emerge here on the other side of a mist-filled gap. Houses and cross streets have been reoriented to face rightwards. This reorientation corresponds to a shift in vantage point. Having entered the city from the western Chang Gate, the first half of the city was presented from a southward-facing perspective as the scroll is unrolled from west to east across the width of the city. The reorientation that occurs here enables Wang Hui to present a northwards-facing (i.e. frontal) view of the Silk Commissioner's residence. Thus, while the Chang Gate and city streets are seen from the north looking south, the Silk Commissioner's residence is depicted from the south looking north. In each case the shift enables the artist to show these important sites in their fullest form much as they would be laid out in a diagram or site plan.
In this way the cityscape combines the features of a map with a panoramic view, and the underlying principle is the easy identification of those key sites that will orient the viewer within the narrative. We can contrast this view with Xu Yang's depiction in the Qianlong southern inspection tour scrolls, where the Silk Commissioner's compound is shown from the rear.
It is noteworthy that the Kangxi Emperor did not stay at the house of the provincial governor, as might be expected, but rather at the house of the Silk Commissioner. Suzhou was the center of the silk manufacturing industry in China, and silk was one of the commodities that was an imperial monopoly, the revenue from which went directly to the emperor's "privy purse," which refers to those monies used exclusively to underwrite the cost of running the imperial palaces. These monies were the private purview of the emperor his private, discretionary funds and they were not part of the government taxation system, which of course collected monies for the expenses of the government itself. Being a major source of funds for the imperial privy purse, Suzhou's silk industry was of special interest to China's rulers.
The Silk Commissioner's residence showcases a vast compound of garden pavilions and ornamental rockeries, past which the scroll ends in a stylized bank of clouds. The large vertical rock behind the main pavilion is known as the Accumulating Clouds Peak. It was especially erected in honor of the Qianlong Emperor's visit to Suzhou. Although the Silk Commissioner's residence has since been turned into a school, this rock has remained in the same location to the present day.
It is noteworthy to compare Xu Yang's treatment of the Silk Commissioner's residence with Wang Hui's treatment of the same in the Kangxi Emperor's southern tour scrolls. As with the varied treatment of Tiger Hill in the two scrolls, Wang Hui, the artist of the Kangxi scroll, had no problem in reorienting the residence in order to present it from its most characteristic frontal view, whereas Xu Yang's effort to maintain a spatially consistent panorama of the city necessitated that he depict the site from the rear.
Xu Yang's painting style reveals the approved court synthesis of Chinese and Western techniques. The landscape elements follow the Orthodox style of Wang Hui, but the conceptualization of each scroll as a unified panorama, the use of linear perspective and foreshortening, and the anatomically accurate, theatrically posed figures show Xu Yang's familiarity with the work of Giuseppe Castiglione and other European painters active at the Qianlong Emperor's court, and demonstrates that by the third quarter of the 18th century, Chinese painters had successfully mastered this new hybrid style.