Shanghai Museum ed: JIN TANG SONG YUAN SHUHUA GUOBAO TEJI. Chinese National Treasures of Painting and Calligraphy from the Jin, Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties. Shanghai, 2002. 635 pp. Colour plates throughout with many illustrations of close-up detail, 3 panoramic foldouts, colophons and seals. 43x30 cm. Cloth.
A landmark exhibition at the Shanghai Museum to celebrate its 50th anniversary. 72 masterpieces - fine early paintings and calligraphy from the three best collections in China - the Palace Museum in Beijing (22), with the Shanghai (32), and Liaoning Museums (18) - were brought together. Seventeen works date from the Jin, Sui and Tang; 37 from the Five Dynasties, Northern and Southern Song and 18 from the Yuan dynasty. Many were loaned for the first time and, in the case of the Palace Museum loans, had not left the Forbidden City since entering the imperial collection. Combining masterpieces from the three collections meant that this was the first time such works had been displayed together and the curators purposely chose related paintings to give scholars and visitors the opportunity to assess their respective merits. Take, for example, three handscrolls attributed to the 10th century master, Dong Yuan. The three scrolls are all inscribed by the Ming painter and connoisseur, Dong Qichang. Even he, however, did not have the opportunity to compare the three works together! Many famous paintings featured in the exhibition, including the 'Night Revels' of Han Xizai and the 12th century handscroll 'Qingming Shanghe Tu'. Work by all Four Masters of the Yuan was represented and the calligraphies included the 'Letter to Bo Yuan' by Wang Xun which the Qianlong emperor treasured as one of the three greatest calligraphic works and housed in the Sanxi Tang.
A major scholarly resource on early Chinese painting and calligraphy. The reproductions of some of the exhibits are the best available. Nearly all the works are shown both in sections that allows close-up examination of detail together with views of the entire work for the overall effect. A magnificent catalogue which went out-of-print immediately. Essays by Yang Renkai, Shan Guolin and Xiao Yanyi. Prefaces and captions in English. Main text in Chinese.
Item 129 in List 203.
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