Collector's Vision Ceramics for the Qianlong Emperor
Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art
Author: Stacey Pierson, Amy Barnes
Publisher/Date: School of Oriental & African Studies, (2002)
Format/Condition: New paperback book with dust jacket is in Near Fine: dust jacket and cover rippled. barely noticeable. 120 pages, notes, bibliography. Profusely illustrated with color photos and complete descriptions of 102, including makers marks
Description: excerpt from the text:
"The Qianlong emperor was born in 1711 and was the grandson of the emperor Kangxi (1662-1722). Like his grandfather, he was a great patron of the arts and a scholar who studied the classics and calligraphy from a young age. After the death of the Yongzheng emperor in 1736, Qianlong ascended the throne and began to amass one of the greatest imperial art collections in Chinese history; He also commissioned contemporary objects for daily use, ritual and display including jades, lacquer wares, cloisonne enamels, textiles and ceramics. As a result, the decorative arts industries flourished.
One of the most important craft industries of the period was that of porcelain as ceramics were required for all aspects of imperial life. As a result, the Qianlong reign period was a prolific period of production for official ceramics in China. The imperial kilns at Jingdezhen produced thousands of porcelains every year for court consumption as well as other domestic consumers. WIth the Emperor as patron, potters at Jingdezhen and painters at workshops in the palace precinct catered to imperial taste which in this period tended towards the extravagant. This is true of Chinese works of art in general at this time which often revived styles from earlier imperial periods or combined a range of different types of decoration on one piece.
While the Qianlong emperor's taste in contemporary objects was rather bold, he also appreciated earlier masterpieces as is to be expected of an imperial connoisseur. Qianlong acquired and showcased a number of antiques including Song ceramics and paintings which were often marked with the imperial seal or an inscription."