Royal Taste offers a rare opportunity to examine more than a hundred objects from five museums in Hubei, China, including metal and porcelain work, jewellery, paintings and sculpture. Highlights include exciting archaeological finds from recently excavated royal tombs and state-commissioned Daoist statues from Mt Wudang that illustrate the luxurious life and religious practice of princely courts in early and mid-Ming China (1368-1644). With essays and entries from seven leading scholars, this beautifully illustrated catalogue offers fresh perspectives on the material culture of China at a time before Europe entered its great age of discovery. Major themes include the impact of state patronage on Daoist and Tibetan Buddhist art, and the role of princely courts in defining late imperial Chinese art and culture.
Fan Jeremy Zhang is Associate Curator of Asian Art at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.