Treasures of the Forbidden City

Zhu Jiajin, Author, Graham Hutt, Editor Viking Books $75 (264p) ISBN 978-0-670-80795-6
Once home to Ming emperors, now a storehouse of antiquities and China's largest art museum, the Palace Museum (or ""Forbidden City,'' as it is known to Westerners) includes everything from ink rubbings of ancient scripts to ritual vessels whose designs indicate the drinker's social rank. This showcase of 100 treasures, all reproduced in color, combines an informative text with spectacular illustrations. Turn to the section on painting to see how rural genre scenes of farm animals infused Chinese art with new depth, or how the sharp observations in bird, flower and insect pictures anticipated Dutch realism by centuries. Objects shown range from a stringed musical instrument, made in the eighth century and still in near-perfect condition, to a huge mountain carved in jade and presided over by Yu the Great, regulator of rivers and waterways. This volume is a companion to Palaces of the Forbidden City, published in 1984. (October 3)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
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