The Louvre Presents The Forbidden City in the Louvre – Emperors of China and Kings of France

The Louvre Presents The Forbidden City in the Louvre – Emperors of China and Kings of France an exhibition on view 01-09-2012.

The treasures of the Forbidden City are the focus of a major exhibition presenting a selection of one hundred and thirty works in three distinct areas of the museum.


Painting of Evening Banquet of Han Zaixi is one of Chinese national treasures

The result of close cooperation between France and China, this event is undoubtedly a major milestone in the cultural and diplomatic exchanges between the two nations.

The exhibition retraces the evolution of the Forbidden City according to a chronological timeline built around the great emperors who ruled over China from the mid-thirteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. The one hundred and thirty major works on loan from China—paintings, vases, bowls, lacquer ware, ceremonial costumes, military uniforms, and calligraphy—are set in context alongside emblematic figures of Chinese imperial history.

The exhibition spaces devoted to the history of the Louvre (Salles d’Histoire du Louvre) show the successive lines of Chinese rulers and, for each period, the exchanges that have existed between France and China.

In the medieval moats of the Louvre, a model of the Forbidden City captures the magnitude of this palace that arose ex nihilo from the will of one man, the Yongle Emperor (1403–1424), while a video montage provides images of its architectural history.

Also on display, in the Richelieu wing, are the throne room of the Qianlong Emperor (contemporaneous with the eras of Louis XV and Louis XVI) and the masterpieces in silk painting he commissioned, the life-sized portraits of his horses in particular.

Exhibition organized by the Musée du Louvre and the Palace Museum, with scholarly support from the Musée Guimet (National Museum of Asian Art Guimet).

The exhibition is sponsored principally by Schneider Electric, with additional support from Louis Vuitton and the generous backing of Haier, Gide Loyrette Nouel, and Air China. – www.louvre.fr

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