Eight Transitional Treasures
This exhibition encompasses a fifty-year period that saw the decline and eventual fall of the Ming dynasty and ended with the establishment of the new Manchurian Qing dynasty. Lasting roughly from 1620 to the mid 1670s, this period marks a remarkable change in the style and subject matter of Chinese porcelain manufacture. Far from suffering a decline during this turbulent time, the imperial kilns experienced a period of astounding creativity and artistic brilliance. The Ming court, whose massive orders had until now totally domi- nated porcelain production, could no longer sustain their customary extravagance and a new clientele of wealthy merchants took their place. It was the tastes and aspirations of this new clientele, particularly their love of landscapes, which prompted this period of breath- taking innovation in porcelain making, which remains unique in Chinese history.