“Great brilliance”. This is the meaning of the Chinese expression Da Ming, the name of the dynasty that ruled China for nearly three centuries. From 1368 to 1644, sixteen Ming emperors governed a population that rose from 65 million to nearly 175 million over the period, one that also saw the rise of a complex imperial system, the growth of social structures and a boom in the economy and in consumer culture. This long, stable reign enabled a solid base to be established for creativity and social progress, generating the extraordinary artistic, social and economic transformation that is the main theme of this major exhibition. Accordingly, Ming, the Golden Empire focuses on Chinese society, culture and art over the period through 126 exceptional artefacts, including ceramics, fabrics, precious metal work, paintings and works on paper. These objects all come from the Nanjing Museum, which boasts one of the finest collections of art from the Ming period, pieces now seen in Spain for the first time.
The Nanjing Museum, China’s first great national museum, conserves more than 400,000 pieces, spanning the period from the Palaeolithic to the present. These holdings include one of the finest collections of works from one of the most important dynasties in China, which has exercised the greatest influence in arousing admiration for the country’s culture around the world.
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