Sunday, April 3, 2011

Extravagant Display: Chinese Art In The 18th And 19th Centuries At The Met

"Pillow in the Form of an Infant Boy", Qing dynasty (1644–1911), 19th century, Jade (nephrite), H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); W. 4 in. (10.2 cm); L. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)   

"Twelve Animals of the Zodiac", Qing dynasty (1644–1911), 19th century, Jade (nephrite), Overall (each approx.): H. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)  

"Seated Luohan (Arhat) in a Grotto", Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), 18-19th century, Malachite

One of the ongoing special exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art features Chinese art in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The beautiful collection is on display at the Galleries for Chinese Decorative Arts on the 3rd floor of the museum. Jades, such as those I photographed above, as well as lacquers, ivories, porcelains, and other art objects were created in Beijing palace workshops and in other art centers.  Most of the items are part of the Museum's permanent collection. This exhibition portrays the vibrancy and innovation of Chinese art and the extravagant imagery that characterized the 18th-19th century. The special exhibit runs through May 1.

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