Rare paintings, calligraphies showcased at National Palace Museum

2017/10/04 17:07:21
Rare paintings, calligraphies showcased at National Palace Museum

Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) An exhibition featuring 45 paintings and calligraphy masterpieces, a majority of them classified as "national treasures," opened at the National Palace Museum (NPM) on Wednesday.

The exhibition, titled "The Making of a National Treasure: Select Masterpieces of Painting and Calligraphy in the Museum Collection," showcases 34 "national treasures" and 11 "significant antiquities" as classified by the Ministry of Culture.

Among the works on display are Wang Xizhi's (王羲之 303-361) calligraphies "Timely Clearing after Snowfall" and "Yuanhuan." Revered as the "sage of calligraphy," Wang is best known for his highly artistic cursive and running scripts.


("Timely Clearing after Snowfall")

Another highlight of the exhibition is "Calligraphy of the Four Song Masters." It consists of four works by master calligraphers of the Song Dynasty -- Cai Xiang (蔡襄1012-1067), Su Shi (蘇軾 1036-1101), Huang Tingjian (黃庭堅1045-1105) and Mi Fu (米芾 1051-1108) -- that were mounted on a single scroll by a collector in the Qing dynasty.

Also likely to draw attention is the calligraphy scroll "Poem" by Emperor Huizong (宋徽宗 1082-1135) of the Song Dynasty, who was skilled at regular and running scripts.

The rare paintings exhibited include "Pasturing Horses" by famous Tang Dynasty horse painter Han Gan (韓幹), and the Tang Dynasty hanging scroll "A Palace Concert," which depicts a group of ladies seated around a large table during a banquet in the imperial court.



Liu Fang-ju (劉芳如), head of the NPM's Department of Painting and Calligraphy, said the exhibited works span over 1,000 years and are rich and diverse in their topics.

"They include the characteristics and achievements of every period of Chinese painting and calligraphy," she said.

Deputy Culture Minister Yang Tzu-pao (楊子葆) said NPM has the largest collection of national treasures in Taiwan, and he hopes the exhibition will shine light on the importance of national treasures.

As of July 2017, 184 paintings and calligraphy scrolls in the collection of the National Palace Museum have been classified as national treasures -- meaning that they are of the highest value and rarity -- and 352 have been classified as significant antiquities, meaning they are second only to national treasures in their value and rarity, the museum said.

According to Taiwan's Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, antiquities are categorized as national treasures, significant antiquities or general antiquities.

The exhibition will run until Dec. 25 at the National Palace Museum. Some of the works will only be on display for a limited period of time, from Oct. 4 - Nov. 14, or from Nov. 15 - Dec. 25.

(By Christie Chen)
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