The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, October 31, 2014


Magnificent Selection of Chinese Red Lacquerware to be Shown at Metropolitan Museum This Summer
NEW YORK, NY.- Although lacquer is used in many Asian cultures, the art of carving lacquer is unique to China. Showcasing some 50 wondrously wrought examples, Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, opening on August 6, will explore the development of this important artistic tradition from the 13th to the 18th century. Drawn from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's holdings as well as the collection of Florence and Herbert Irving, the installation will feature a number of masterworks, including newly acquired, rare 13th-century lacquer boxes for holding incense or cosmetics, and a recently restored eight-panel screen depicting a birthday celebration in an elaborate private compound. Dated 1773, this screen has never before been exhibited in public.

"Lacquer is an art form that is easily appreciated for its bold colors and strong pictorial quality. However, it is worth remembering that carved lacquer requires extraordinary time and care in its creation," said Denise Patry Leidy, Curator in the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Asian Art. "A tiny little slip, for example, can cause the artist to re-start the whole process again from the beginning. Any of a number of the objects you'll see in this installation would have taken several years to complete," she continued.

Known in China as early as the last Neolithic period (ca. 5000-2000 B.C.), the production of luxury articles in lacquer suffered an eclipse after the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–220). During the Tang dynasty (618-907), lacquer objects were finely constructed but were still rather plain in design. In the 12th century, however, a new class of luxury lacquer objects—carved lacquer—emerged. From then on, carved lacquer made significant advances both artistically and stylistically.

Lacquer is the resin, or sap, of rhus verniciflua, a family of trees found throughout southern China. The resin hardens when exposed to oxygen and becomes a natural plastic that is resistant to water and can withstand heat and certain acids. The red lacquer derives its color from cinnabar (powdered red sulphide of mercury) that is the most prominent colorant employed in carved lacquer, also identified as "cinnabar" lacquer. The production of carved lacquer requires laborious processes. Multiple layers of raw lacquer—often 30 or 35 but at times up to 200—are applied onto a substructure, usually made of wood. After drying in air, each layer is carved individually to create a lush geometric motif or engaging scenes of figures in landscapes and lively birds flitting among flowers.

Lacquer was—and still is—highly prized, especially when the artist manipulated the strata of resin to create meticulously carved imagery. Among the works on view, a 13th- or 14th-century incense box, adorned entirely with a bold design of pommel scrolls, demonstrates a characteristic feature of early carved lacquer in China: numerous layers of green and yellow lacquer are interspersed among the predominant red to give subtle depth to the overall design. In the late 14th and the 15th century, extraordinary lacquers with delicately carved backgrounds, in which different geometric designs are used to show earth, water, and sky, were produced. A supreme example of this type in the installation is the Seven-lobed Platter with Children at Play, a 14th-century masterpiece depicting women and children in a garden setting. The early 15th-century Sutra Box with Dragon is another impressive work on view. Thin lines carved into a red lacquer background are filled with gold to create the motif prowling along the sides of the box. The installation will also include a beautifully carved dish with a Chinese word for longevity entitled Octagonal Dish with Decoration of a Shou Character from the 16th century.


Metropolitan Museum | Florence and Herbert Irving | Denise Patry Leidy | China |  |




Today's News

July 2, 2009

Christie's Auction of Post-War and Contemporary Art in London Realises $31.8 Million

Damien Hirst Refuses to Become Royal Academician at the Royal Academy of Arts

St. Louis Sculpture Park, Citygarden, Opens to the Public

Bravo is Sculpting a New Cast for "The Untitled Art Project"

Sears Tower Debuts Glass Walk Out and Skydeck Experience

Shepard Fairey Returns to ICA/Boston, Site of his First Major Museum Exhibition

Free Admission Boosts Sense of Public Ownership of National Museums in the UK

Nearly 30 Years of Collaborative Scholarship Culminate in the First Comprehensive Exhibition

The Royal Academy of Arts will Present GSK Contemporary 2009: Earth: Art of a Changing World

Philip Glass to Perform Etudes and Other Work for Solo Piano at Galleria dell'Accademia

Workshop Missoni: Daring to be Different Opens at Estorick Collection

Chicago Artists Engage Audiences in a Dynamic Five-week Series at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Carl Gustav Carus: Nature and Idea Opens at Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Camera Work: Photography from the Permanent Collection on View at the Boca Raton Museum of Art

National Portrait Gallery Announces Finalists and Shortlisted Artists for the "Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 200

New Time and Navigation Exhibit Is in the Works at the Smithsonian

Cultural Leaders from Across the World Come Together in London to Launch Leadership Programme

"On-site", Wall Paintings by Carlos Motta at P. S. 1 Contemporary Art Center

The J. Paul Getty Trust to Return Avery Index to Columbia University

Magnificent Selection of Chinese Red Lacquerware to be Shown at Metropolitan Museum This Summer

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

Related Stories



AXA Equitable donates Thomas Hart Benton's epic mural "America Today" to Met Museum

Metropolitan Museum Launches Connections Series of Online Episodes Featuring Museum Staff

Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection Opens at the Metropolitan

Exhibition of Forbidden City Treasures Goes on View at Metropolitan Museum in February

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art Determines Painting by Velázquez is Authentic

New Installation Features Cabinets and Caskets from Metropolitan Museum's Collection

New Installation Features Cabinets, Caskets, and Cases from Metropolitan Museum's Collection

Gifts Enhance Metropolitan Museum's Scholarly Activities in Cycladic and Early Greek Art

Metropolitan Museum to Undertake Major Redesign and Reconstruction of its Fifth Avenue Outdoor Plaza and Fountains

Alexander McQueen's Iconic Designs to be Celebrated in Spring 2011 at the Metropolitan



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site