From the Great Tang to the High Qing. The Baur and the Zhuyuetang Collections
Peter Lam, Richard Kan, Monique Crick, Laure Schwartz-Arenales
More than any other civilisation, China has won renown through its long tradition of ceramic production, from its terracotta and stoneware works in ancient times to the imperial porcelain manufactured at Jingdezhen from the end of the fourteenth century. These refined works have always been admired and collected for their outstanding quality. Two hundred masterpieces from prominent private collections around the world have been brought together for the first time in this book. The Baur collections in Geneva, formed between 1928 and 1951, and the Zhuyuetang collection (the Bamboo and Moon Pavilion in Hong Kong), which has been built up since the late 1980s, reveal the elegance and variety of imperial monochrome porcelain wares produced during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, which followed on from the Tang (618–907) and Song (960–1279) periods. These apparently restrained pieces, which partake of both the profane and the sacred, testify the return to the values of simplicity and modesty advocated by classical texts. With chapters dedicated to situating the works in their historical, cultural and technical contexts, this book is an absolute reference on Chinese monochrome ceramics for all lovers of the subject, as well as students, researchers and connoisseurs.
A graduate of the École du Louvre with a doctorate from Paris IV Sorbonne, Laure Schwartz-Arenales began her career at the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet and at the École du Louvre where she taught Far Eastern arts. The recipient in 1998 of a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education, she studied Buddhist painting at Tohoku University and the National Museum of Kyoto. Her thesis on the Otoku nehan zu, a masterpiece of painting from the Heian era, won her the prestigious prize awarded by the Kajima Foundation for the Arts in 2007. While pursuing her research with leading specialists in Far Eastern art, and teaching at Ochanomizu University and Sophia University in Japan, she organised several international meetings and taught and published on the history of the reception given to Far Eastern arts in Europe. Since the start of 2018 she has been director of the Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Arts in Geneva.
A graduate of the Université d’Aix-en-Provence, the École du Louvre, and Paris IV Sorbonne, Monique Crick is an independent researcher and art historian who specialises in the arts of the Far East. After having worked on projects at the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet and the Musée Cernuschi in Paris, where in 1998 she founded the Société Française d’Études de la Céramique Orientale, she was appointed director of the Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Arts in 2003, where she remained until 2017. She has also worked on several underwater archaeological excavations in South-East Asia. Her studies have principally concerned the cultural and commercial relations between China and South-East Asia, between China and India, and between China and Europe. Monique Crick is the author of many articles and catalogues and has acted as the scientific curator for various exhibitions in Europe and Asia.
Peter Y.K. Lam is an art historian. A graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, he is currently an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before retiring in 2013, he worked for forty years at the Art Museum at the University of Hong Kong, which he directed for fourteen years. An expert in Chinese ceramics, calligraphy, and decorative arts, he has curated many exhibitions and published several books on these subjects. He is a member of the committee of the Palace Museum in East Kowloon, Hong Kong, of the Hong Kong Min Chiu Society, an association of leading collectors, and of the Chinese Society of Ancient Ceramics in Beijing. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Beijing Palace Museum.