This exhibition presents ten masterpieces of early Ming dynasty court painting executed in the 15th and early 16th centuries in the Forbidden City, in addition to a selection of related Zhe School paintings, all from the permanent collection of the Shanghai Museum. These paintings are of a type that is generally poorly represented in American museum collections, as the prevailing taste in collecting over the past century has been for literati (scholar-amateur) paintings. The exhibition explores the role of imperial patronage of Ming dynasty painters, paintings as political propaganda, and the revival of earlier Song dynasty (11th–13th century) painting styles for political purposes.
Five of the artists were court painters in the Forbidden City (the imperial palace) in Beijing, while the other five were gifted Ming professional painters whose works were stylistically and thematically related to those of the leading court masters.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art Website