Gugong Museum ed: SHIQU BAOJI TEZHAN: BIANZUAN PIAN, DIANCANG PIAN. (Special Exhibition of Treasures from the Qianlong Emperor's 'Shiqu Baoji' Catalogue of Paintings and Calligraphy: The Catalogues and The Collection). Beijing, 2015. 403; 475 pp. Full page colour plates throughout both volumes. Colour text plates. 2 vols. 40x29 cm. Boards.
Large, weighty and truly excellent two-volume catalogue of an important exhibition at the Gugong Museum in Beijing. The Shiqu Baoji ('The Precious Collection of the Stone Moat') catalogue was commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor in 1744 and first published in 1745. An additional volume was later added by his successor, the Jiaqing Emperor. It was a comprehensive catalogue of the Qing imperial collection of paintings and calligraphy, unsurprisingly listing numerous choice, rare and unique works accumulated by the Ming and Qing emperors. It thus cuts to the core of imperial connoisseurship, not least under the most literati of Qing rulers, the Qianlong Emperor. Shiqu 'Stone Moat' was the name of the hall where the Han dynasty emperors held rare books and Qianlong presumably chose this title to emphasize the continuity of imperial collecting over the centuries.
The exhibition broadly divided into two main sections: 'The Catalogues' and 'The Collection'. One volume devoted to each of these themes. 'The Catalogues' volume subdivided into sections as follows: Provenance of the Calligraphy and Paintings Recorded; The Compilers; The Compilation Principles; Repositories of The Shiqu Baoji; Editions and Collection Seals. A total of 85 exhibits. The second volume covering 'The Collection' is in the following two sections: Collections of the Court and Recovered Treasures. 115 exhibits. Both volumes illustrated throughout with superb paintings and calligraphy dating from the Five Dynasties and the Song onwards through the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. List of plates with descriptive detail in English at the back of each volume. Main text in Chinese.
Produced in an edition of just 1000 copies of which very few have been made available for general sale as the majority of the edition has been presented to government officials and cultural organizations to commemorate the Gugong Museum's 90th anniversary. We have managed to obtain but a couple of copies.
Out-of-print and now completely unobtainable. The most important exhibition ever held on the Chinese imperial collection and Qing imperial connoisseurship.
Subjects: Painting Calligraphy
Available, as of: 26/04/2018
Was item 376 in printed List 189.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.