COASTAL MAP (SECTION), Ming dynasty 1368�1644, colour on paper, 30.5 x 2081 cm – TAASA Review December 2018


This article was originally found in the December 2018 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 27, Issue 4, Page 9).

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Copper gall-bladder vase decorated with flowers of the four seasons, Kangxi 1662�1722/Qing dynasty 1644�1911, painted enamels, 13.7 cm (h); 4.1 cm (rim diam) Meat-shaped stone, 1700s-1800s/ Qing dynasty 1644�1911, Jasper, golden stand, 6.6cm (h), 7.9cm (l) , 6.6cm (w) of annual changes in weather to create 24 solar terms.

Four illustrated leaves were chosen from the album `Ink marvels from a forest of pearls (IV)’, painted by Zhang Ruo’ai (1713�46) and calligraphed by Zhuang Yougong (1713�67) to give examples of the 24 solar terms.

They also convey the message that a ruler should follow the seasons and govern with the people in mind. In the visual arts, some plants came to stand for certain seasons, serving as common symbols of cyclical change in nature, such as the plum blossom for winter, the orchid for spring, the bamboo for summer and chrysanthemums for autumn, as depicted in naturalistic paintings and on a group of enamel-decorated porcelain (falangcai) of the Qing dynasty. Throughout China’s history, the imperial courts recruited gifted painters to serve in the palaces for both practical and aesthetic goals...