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Asian Art Calendar of Events

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Exhibition Public - USA & Canada
Asia Week New York

Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue,
New York, USA
Jun 25, 2016 To Oct 09, 2017

Detail: Hardstone carving is one of the oldest arts in China, dating back to the fifth millennium B.C. It was not until the Qing dynasty, however, that an abundant supply of raw material, extraordinary craftsmanship, and keen imperial patronage allowed the art to flourish. During the 18th century, widespread prosperity and successful military campaigns brought political stability, while also securing the trade routes that permitted the importation of gemstones over the Silk Roads and through sea trade routes from as far away as Europe.

Showcasing a selection of 75 exquisite carvings drawn from The Met collection, this exhibition presents the lapidary art of China's Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Featuring not only jade, the most esteemed of East Asian gems, but also agate, malachite, turquoise, quartz, amber, coral, and lapis lazuli, the exhibition reveals the extensive variety of hardstones and full palette of vibrant colors that were favored at the imperial court. Exploring the diverse subjects and styles of Qing lapidary art, Colors of the Universe illustrates the extraordinary imagination and technical virtuosity behind these miniature sculptures.

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Water dropper in the shape of a crane
Water dropper in the shape of a crane
18th century, Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm), W. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)
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