CHINA AS NEVER SEEN BEFORE, PALAZZO STROZZI IN FLORENCE
Masterpieces of the “Chinese Renaissance” on display at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence
Unexpected ancient China: cosmopolitan, traversed by international trade and schools of thought, populated with foreigners and powerful women in men’s clothes riding horses at high speed. China captivated by Buddhism impresses us with its refined paintings and precious objects: a Golden Age (25-907 A.D.), so ancient yet surprisingly modern, will be on display in all its splendour at the exhibition China: at the court of the Emperors opening on 7th March, 2008 at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.
«Even those who know nothing about Chinese history and culture will be fascinated by the works on show - exhibition curator Sabrina Rastelli explains – starting with the great 2.40-metre-high statue of Buddha that welcomes visitors; or with the mural paintings - rather different from frescoes - which are extremely precious because only very few of them were found and they are hardly ever transferred abroad due to their extreme fragility».
This exhibition is a collection of those very masterpieces which have never been seen in Europe; and it is by no accident that Florence has been chosen to house such an event, since the Age of the Tang Dynasty is regarded as the Chinese Renaissance, thanks to its cultural and artistic splendour. Therefore, this symbolic encounter with Florentine Renaissance may encourage reflection. «We chose the 7th-Century mural painting found inside the tomb of a spouse of the Tang Dynasty showing the presentation of a horse, as the symbolic image of the exhibition. We are struck by the beauty of its figures, as well as by certain themes recurring in the rest of the exhibition recounting China in those times: the presence of foreigners (two Spanish men), women who loved riding horses, hunting and playing polo, and the exquisite paintings. To think that in most cases we do not even know who the authors of these works of art were. Not only: we are aware that a lot of paintings are missing, and we only know about them through the treatises on Aesthetics of those times. It would be like knowing about Giotto and Botticelli only through Vasari’s “Vite”, without ever having seen one of their paintings». The statues are remarkable too, as well as all the articles of everyday use and the jewels on display. Among the golden jewels are the three largest objects ever found: a box, a plate and a bowl.
The tour of the exhibition is also made easier by an arrangement in eight different areas, according to themes and historical periods: the Eastern Han period, the late 5th and 6th century sculptures, esoteric Buddhism, the Golden Age of the Tang Dynasty and, finally, frescoes and paintings on rock.
Let’s have fun with Chinese characters. From drawing to symbols and engraving
Every Sunday from 10.00 am to 12.00 am, and during the entire exhibition, there will be workshops open to all children between 4 and 10. Children will be escorted by a teacher and an artist guiding them on a visit to the exhibition to discover the mysterious ancient country of China. A workshop will follow in a suitably-equipped area, for children to play in and enjoy themselves with Chinese characters. Admission to the workshop is free. The cost of the ticket is €4.00 per child, and it is free for children up to 6. The cost of the ticket for an accompanying adult is €8.00.
Booking is required to take part in each workshop
China: at the court of the Emperors. Masterpieces never seen before, from Han tradition to Tang elegance (25-907)
Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi
7th March – 8th June 2008
Every day 9.00 am - 8.00 pm
Thursday 9.00 am - 11.00 pm
Admittance to the exhibition is possible up to one hour before closing time
Information at the exhibition
phone +39 055 2645155
Bookings and ticket advance sale
phone +39 055 2469600
fax +39 055 244145
- Agenzia per il Turismo di Firenze (Florence Tourist Office)