A Qing Dynasty porcelain bowl with copper decorations
A Qing Dynasty porcelain plate
Blue and white porcelain plates and cups, Rococo-style ceramic coffee pots and wine vessels decorated with silver and copper - these are just a part of the precious items on display as part of the exhibition Classic Porcelain on the Silk Road, which opened at National Museum of China (NMC) in Beijing on Saturday.[Special coverage]
"These ceramics, with their beautiful shapes and colorful patterns, display the history of the Maritime Silk Road in miniature, while also vividly demonstrating the spirit of the Silk Road," the exhibit organizers wrote in a statement.
Hosted by the Publicity Department of Jingdezhen's CPC committee and curated by Wang Luxiang, a well-known Phoenix TV host and also a research fellow at the China National Academy of Painting, the show taps into the history of Chinese ceramics transported on the Maritime Silk Road.
Featuring around 300 pieces of precious porcelain wares made in Jingdezhen, a thousand-year-old porcelain manufacturer in East China's Jiangxi Province, the show traces the history of Chinese exported porcelain wares during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. It was during this time that the export of Chinese-made porcelain to European countries through the Maritime Silk Road increased tremendously due to high demand.
Jingdezhen-made porcelain wares are considered the best representative of ceramic products during the Ming and Qing dynasties, wrote NMC Associate Curator Xie Xiaoquan in an introduction to the exhibit.
Aside from its historical and commercial value, the porcelain wares on display, ranging from food vessels to candlestick holders, are also a feast for the eyes.
Beautifully painted flowers and birds, as well as foreign figures decorate many of the wares on display.
"These are the most exquisite porcelain wares that I have ever seen. I can't believe they were made hundreds of years ago," a 23-year-old student surnamed Liu told the Global Times on Saturday.
The exhibition is scheduled to run until June 9.