Image :  Harmony and Integrity :  The Yongzheng Emperor and His Times 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum (New window)
Selection: Introduction
Selection: The Life and Times of the Yongzheng Emperor
Selection: Art and Culture in the Yongzheng Era
Selection: Imperial Imprints
Selection: Imperial Objects
Selection: Court Painting and Calligraphy
Selection: Home
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Title: Art and Culture in the Yongzheng Era
  As with politics and economics during the Yongzheng Emperor's rule, art and culture in his reign also featured the characteristics and function of inheriting from the past and setting the stage for the future. The second part of this exhibition on Yongzheng art and culture is divided into three sections devoted to imperial imprints, imperial objects, and court painting and calligraphy.  
Though a Manchu, the Yongzheng Emperor was also a strong proponent of traditional Confucian thinking in Han Chinese culture, promoting its qualities of edification and promulgation while seeking to achieve cultural continuity, both of which are reflected in his publication enterprises. To preserve books and records from the ages while passing down culture, Yongzheng saw to the completion of Completed Collection of Graphs and Writings of Ancient and Modern Times. And to demonstrate the orthodoxy of Qing rule, he continued the project of compiling a history of the previous Ming dynasty begun under his grandfather's rule, witnessing its printing late in his reign. Yongzheng also personally edited Established Statutes In Effect and Vermilion-Rescript Edicts, wrote Discourse on Cliques, and compiled General Comments on the Sacred Edicts (of Kangxi) with the purpose of promoting imperial relations and social order while edifying his subjects.
In terms of artistic production, the Yongzheng Emperor pursued cultured refinement, exhibiting a unique and lofty taste reflected in the numerous objects and works of painting and calligraphy produced at and for his court. The objects made for the imperial family in the Yongzheng reign include refined porcelains, enamelware, agate carvings, lacquerware, and Songhua inkstones, all of which followed the models and standards established by the court. Therefore, whether it is decoration, form, or technique, they clearly manifest the imperial taste and artistic style of the Yongzheng Emperor. Closer examination of these imperial objects from the Yongzheng era shows they can be divided according to the following features : imperial authority, auspiciousness, refinement, archaism and innovation, and novel elements of East and West.
Court painting and calligraphy of the Yongzheng era includes works produced by the emperor himself and those presented by members of his family gifted in art, high officials, artistically talented officials, and artists serving the court. Whether it is calligraphy that continues the tradition of Tang and Song modelbook studies, landscape painting following the orthodox style of the Four Wangs of the early Qing, bird-and-flower painting influenced by the style of Yun Shouping, paintings with buildings or figures featuring Western perspective and shading, or works by Western missionary-painters who fused Western and Chinese styles, all reflect the pluralism of painting and calligraphy in the Yongzheng reign.
Image : photo  
國立故宫博物院 National Palace Museumm (New window)