The art of the Ming dynasty

The Ming dynasty reestablished independent rule in China, along with Chinese artistic and architectural traditions.

1368 – 1644 C.E.

Beginner's Guide

Learn about the materials and techniques used in the imperial art of China.

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Ming dynasty (1368–1644), an introduction
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), an introduction

The Ming dynasty’s almost three hundred-year span witnessed unprecedented economic and cultural expansion and the near doubling of its population.

Wen Zhengming, <em>Wintry Trees</em>
Wen Zhengming, Wintry Trees

Wintry Trees is a hanging scroll produced by Wen Zhengming at a time of personal loss.

Ming banknote
Ming banknote

During the Ming dynasty the state issued coins and paper money.

Congyi, <em>Cloudy Mountains</em>
Congyi, Cloudy Mountains

A painting that gives the impression of a vast landscape that stretches for eternity

Brushrest with Arabic inscription
Brushrest with Arabic inscription

Many of the porcelain vessels produced during Emperor Zhengde reign show Islamic influence

‘Kraak’ bowl, from Jingdezhen
‘Kraak’ bowl, from Jingdezhen

A Ming bowl with a specific design from seventeenth-century Portugal, Holland and Iran

Spirit path to the tomb of the first Ming emperor
Spirit path to the tomb of the first Ming emperor

Journey to the Purple Mountain and the burial of the first Ming emperor

The Abduction of Helen Tapestry
The Abduction of Helen Tapestry

An ancient Greek story on a tapestry made in China, for export back to Portugal.

Wang Lü, Landscapes of Mount Hua (Huashan)
Wang Lü, Landscapes of Mount Hua (Huashan)

A 14th-century physician climbs Mount Hua.

A Ritual Ming dish
A Ritual Ming dish

A red so rare, so impossible to make, the process was lost before the end of the Ming Dynasty.

The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City

Covering 178 acres, this gated complex was a “golden cage” for China’s emperors and courtiers. It is now a museum.

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