The dereliction of duty n the part of the late Ming emperors, combined with their outrageous extravagance, led t afinacial crisis, higher taxes, and widespread government corruption. The exprpriation of land by civil officials, as well as the effects of drought and famine, created hardships for the peasants which served to alienate them further from government. Attacks by nothern invaders and Japanese pirates also took their roll. Finally, the Ming state’s forces proved too weak to prevent the Manchurians from taking control and establishing their empire.,the Qing.
The country experienced and era of prorperity under the Qing emperors Kangxi(r.1662-1722), Yongzheng(r.1723-35) , and the Qianlong (r 1736-95) , all of whom were instilled with the insights and cnsciousness of Westren idea.
After 1840, the empired had to contend with internal uprisings as well as rebellions along its frontiers. The European powers supported teh Manchu suppressions of this uprisings and,by allowing European military inter-vention the Qing rulers ultimetely brought about un-welcome foreign domination. The Europeans and Japanese , eager to see the Chinese market opened up for foreign trade, waged wars to forced the Qing empire to sign a series of treaties, with the British (1842), with the French (1885), and with Japan in 1895. In complete humilition, China was forced topay indemnity to foreigners, grant them trade benefits, open its ports for trade, and make territorial concessions.
A few enlightened scholars keen on Westernizing China won the approval of the Emperor Guangxu, and in 1898 they drafted edicts of reform, but the Empress Dowager Cixi, with the support of conservative element s, succeeded in crushing the refrm campaign.The eventual collapsed of the empire in 1911 was the culmination of nearly half a century of military confusion.
II. The History of Qing Imperial Ceramic
In general, art reached a high standard of technical perfection during the Qing dynaty despite its tendency to extravagance and exggrerated ornaments. Strict control by the court allowed skilled craftment to achieve feats f greats of great virtusity in Imperial wares while simultaneously stifling any personal inisiative.
From the reign of Jiaqing to that of Tongzi, imperial kilns had toobtain raw materials from Xingzi county, 339 km west of Jingdezhen, and from Dazhou on the westren outskirts of Jingdezhen, but due to its inferior quality the later source was soon Abandon.
During the Qing dynasty imperial ceramics were produced in a variety f types at the rate over 10.000 pieces per year, far in excess of the output of earlier periods.In the country at large the uses of ceramic objects ranged from political to diplomatic, ceremonial, decorative, and utilitarian purposes.
Special gift to foreigners were either selected from the imperial household orordered by the emperors from Jingdezhen. Emperor Kangxi started the practise of making gifts, including porcelain objects to foreign diplomats and missionaries in 1675 with a formal presentation to the Russian Tzar’s emissary, Nicolas Spatar. Qianlong gave 208 pieces f porcelain to King George III of England in 1794, and presented gifts to King William V of the Netherlands in 1703, both trough his commissionars. In 1732 stemp-cups were ordered as gift to Mongolian King.
The allocation of imperial wares in the palace was strictly in accrdance with rues concrening the colors and shapes of wares and the status of members of the Royal household. At leat ten top wives and concubines of Qing emperors were graded into seven classes, from Empress down to Lady-in-Waiting. The emperor and his empress alone had the previlage of using porcelains decorated with dragon on a yellow ground(both the interior and the exterior glazed in Jellow. The next six classes were also provided with dragon-decorated weres, but in accordance with a strictly color coding : White-glazed interior and yellow-glazed exterior, green dragons on yellow glazed, Yellow dragons on blue glazed,purple dragons on green, red dragons on a polychrome ground, and at the last decorated with anything not included in the above combination.(CGWW,1989,78.84-93)
In 1728, Prince Yi sent nine samples colors of imported enamels to the imperial Workshop for an experiment, Nine other imported enamels were already held there, and specialists in blwinhg glaze and making enamels(Beijing Palace documents)
Emperor Yongzheng’s enamel palette for Falangcai wares was further enlarged by success , and in 1729, two enamel painters named Zhou Yue and Wu Shiqi were selected from Jingdezhen to serve in the Imperial Workshop.
In 1732, the Emperor Yongzheng reassigned two court painters, Dai Heng and Tiang Zhenji, to paint enamelled decoration on Porcelain.
During the late Qing period , enameled porcelain continue to be made principally for the court and aristocrats patrons. Names of halls, studio, or rooms of the inner court, and of Palaces and Villa would be inscribed on the wares.
The last enamel porcelains bearing the Hongxian mark were made in the early twentieth century . Piece with the Hongxian reign-mark in collections throughout the world, are generally regarded as having made for the emperor Yaun Shikai in 1916.
The Porcelain bearing the Jurentang marks was being produced for Juren hall , near forbidden city , built by the Dowger Empress Cixi .(Geng.1993.330-1)
III. The Qing Imperial Ceramics collections
1.The Qing Emperor and empress Cup and soucer with yellow color interior and exterior.
2.The Qing imperial Large vase color red
3.The Qing Meiping vage
4.The Qing imperial stoneware with sculted and incise decorations tea Pot.
5.The Qing imperial vase,pillow , brush holder and cover box with overglazed polychrome decorations
@copyright Dr iwan S. 2010