More than 120 priceless artefacts from Beijing’s prestigious Palace Museum are about to go on show at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in the latest exhibition, A Golden Age of China: Qianlong Emperor (1736-1795).
Tonight at the NGV Premier Daniel Andrews will officially open the Melbourne-exclusive exhibition, which presents artworks created and collected during the 60-year reign of one of China’s most successful rulers, the Qianlong Emperor.
A passionate artist and prolific writer, the Qianlong Emperor sought to build a collection that not only documented Chinese culture of the time but actively influenced and built on it, through his interest in the art of Europe, Japan and India.
The exhibition includes some of the Emperor’s own paintings and works of calligraphy. Highlights include stunning large-scale paintings on silk, imperial seals made from gold, ivory and jade, opulent silk court robes, ceremonial hats, swords, bows and arrows and jewellery.
The exhibition, which has brought many objects to Australia for the first time, has been made possible through a partnership between the NGV and The Palace Museum, one of the most popular cultural and tourist attractions in the world.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“This incredible exhibition is an opportunity for Victorians and visitors to see rarely displayed works from China’s illustrious Palace Museum in the Forbidden City.”
“Our state is Australia’s arts and culture capital. This exhibition is exclusive to Melbourne, reinforcing our strong ties with China and the NGV’s track record of presenting internationally significant exhibitions.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley
“The exhibition draws us into an era of China’s cultural history that resonates across the world to this day. It tells a fascinating story and showcases the richness of Chinese culture.”
“The exhibited works have rarely been on public display in China, so it is a real privilege, and a great testament to the NGV, that we are able to present so many of the palace’s treasures here in Melbourne.”
“The exhibition is another important step in building a closer relationship with our largest trading partner through closer cultural links – which is an important part of our creative industries strategy.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020