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Chinese artwork from Vatican on show at Palace Museum

  • Author:Linki
  • Source:http://www.tingvoa.com/html
  • Release on :2019-05-29
Chinese artwork from Vatican on show at Palace Museum

For people who are familiar with Leonardo da Vinci's painting The Last Supper, the version being exhibited at the Palace Museum in Beijing may look familiar yet peculiar.

There is Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles, but each character has a Chinese face and wears traditional Chinese clothes, and Chinese dishes are on the table.

In another painting, Mary, Jesus Christ and an angel are in a typical Chinese garden in which there is a towering rock. The composition may recall traditional figurative painting from the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Both works from the early 20th century are among many examples showing how Catholic art got localized in China, and point to the frequent communication among different cultures.

Beauty Unites Us: Chinese Art from the Vatican Museums, the first exhibition of Chinese artifacts on loan from the Vatican, opened on Tuesday at the Palace Museum, China's former imperial palace from 1420 to 1911, which is also known as the Forbidden City.

Paolo Nicolini, delegate for the administrative-management sectors of the Vatican Museums, said that the exhibition is a result of continuous cooperation since 2016, when he visited China to attend the inaugural Silk Road International Cultural Expo in Dunhuang, Gansu province.

"Fine arts cannot be locked in a safe," Nicolini said. "It should embrace the whole world, and open doors to all people, no matter which philosophy they have. These Chinese art items are symbols of friendship, which will be further enhanced by this exhibition."

"The friendship we have built makes our minds broader and horizons wider," he said. "Beauty keeps us united and it will continue to do so in the future."

The Palace Museum selected 12 treasures from its inventory to present at the exhibition, including Eight Horses, by Giuseppe Castiglione, the 18th-century Italian Jesuit painter who worked for Chinese royal family, and a painting by Wu Li, an early Qing Dynasty artist who was also a Catholic.