A Millennium of Monochromes

From the Great Tang to the High Qing

27 September 2018 - 3 February 2019


Employing a three-part, chronological presentation that displays the works in their historical, artistic and technical context, the exhibition focuses on the sophistication and ritual and profane functions of imperial monochrome porcelain during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties as a continuation of the tradition of the Tang (618–907) and Song (960–1279).

As a result of significant loans from the Musée des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon and the musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole, visitors will be able to admire two famous portraits of a Qing-dynasty emperor and his concubine: the sovereign Qianlong (r. 1736–95), who is depicted on the delicate porcelain plaque produced at Sèvres, and the “Chinese Mona Lisa”, a painting attributed to the Jesuit painter from Dole, Jean-Denis Attiret, who will together survey the monochrome symphony.

 In addition, a presentation of minerals from the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Genève will explain technical aspects associated with the role of metal oxides in the colouring of porcelain glazes.