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National Palace Museum

Story of an Artistic Style: Imperial Porcelain with Painted Enamels of the Qianlong Emperor

  • Dates: 2020-12-01~2022-06-30
  • Gallery: (Northern Branch) Exhibition Area I 203

Ever since the masterful painted enamels had developed from the Kangxi reign (1662-1722), the course had gone through being exclusive to the Imperials in the Yongzheng reign (1723-1735). As it reached the era of Qianlong (1736-1795), the archival documents demonstrate his enthusiasm for the production status of the imperial workshops. Furthermore, the continuous dialogue between the Emperor and his pottery supervisor indicates that the painted enamel of Qianlong is one of the innovative perfections among the official wares. The Emperor-oriented production of painted enamels in the Qianlong reign could be interpreted through the three divided sections "Convergence of Tints", "Novelty of Brilliance", and "Storage and Collection". 

The first section mainly presents the two painted enamels of yangcai and falangcai that both highly valued by the Qianlong Emperor. He had inherited the characteristics from the Yongzheng reign. Also, he had incorporated the Imperial poems full of the personal statement into the decorations, thus to have works brimming with imperial manner. The second section invites viewers to admire the innovative patterns appeared in the Qianlong reign. From the Eastern and Western figures, the landscapes and pavilions, the goldfishes and seaweed, to the intricate motif of "Auspicious Patterns on Floral Brocade" all will bring you the unparalleled visual experience. The third section examines the extant wood storages, to retrace the process of naming, categorizing, storing, and packaging of the old Qing court's collection and new additions of potteries, which were organized under the Imperial orders.

As you can witness, the masterful skills and refined details formed the artistic style, which is distinctively owed by Qianlong’s porcelains with painted enamels. 

Story of an Artistic Style: Imperial Porcelain with Painted Enamels of the Qianlong EmperorStory of an Artistic Style: Imperial Porcelain with Painted Enamels of the Qianlong EmperorStory of an Artistic Style: Imperial Porcelain with Painted Enamels of the Qianlong Emperor