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Lot n° 143

Pair of dishes; China, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi period,...

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Pair of dishes; China, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi period, 1662-1772. Glazed porcelain. It has flaws in the lip. Measurements: 3 x 14 x 14 cm (x2). Emperor Kangxi was one of the most important monarchs in the history of China, and in fact his reign of sixty-one years, parallel to that of Louis XIV in France, is the longest in the history of the country, and established the power of the new Qing dynasty. His was a period of cultural splendor, thanks largely to the intense work of artistic patronage developed by the emperor himself. Since the Qing was a dynasty of foreign (Manchu) origin, Kangxi strove to reaffirm his legitimacy as absolute monarch of China through the search for a balance between respect for Manchu traditions and Chinese forms of government, also assuming the role of an enlightened ruler of Confucian model. The emperor himself practiced calligraphy and painting, the two most highly regarded arts in China, and maintained Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucian canon as the cultural yardstick on which the imperial examinations were based. In this way, the Kangxi Emperor promoted the idea of the new dynasty as the legitimate successor of the previous Ming dynasty, extolling its achievements. The emperor developed an important work to support literature, and also promoted the fine arts. In 1661 the imperial workshops were founded in Beijing, where sumptuary objects were produced for the court, from porcelain to paintings and ritual objects. Silk production workshops were also established at this time in the southern cities of Suzhou, Hangzhou and Jiangning.