ARTIST RESIDENCY CHINA — BEIJING, no. 16
It is called Forbidden City because it was forbidden to enter or leave without the emperor’s permission. It was the central seat of political and ceremonial power in China for 500 years, 1406—1912. The central axis is comprised of a series of throne rooms and vast courtyards. On either side are warrens of intimately scaled private rooms, kitchens, apartments, and chapels. Some halls are now museums containing extraordinary objects of human imagination in every possible material including porcelain, cloisonné, bronze, stone, wood, copper, gold, coral, crystal, gems, fabric, calligraphy, furniture, screens, and elaborate fanciful clocks.
cloisonné tea set
Dowager Empress Cixi, in retreat from the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900, is said to have had Consort Zhen, age 24, concubine of Cixi’s nephew Emperor Guangxu and co-conspirator of reform, drowned in this courtyard well, although the story is considered apocryphal
Hall of Three Rarities — formerly housed calligraphic works by Wang Xizhi, Wang Xianzhi, and Wang Xun
Ming Dynasty Ph0enix Crown, 1573–1620
Qing Dynasty gold standing Buddha inlaid with pearls, 1644–1911
Hall of Clocks museum
Dou food container inlaid with copper and decorated with design of hunting scenes, c. late 6th century BCE–476 BCE
Yan cooking vessel decorated with four snakes, Early Spring and Autumn Era, c. 770 BCE – early 7th century BCE
Pavilion of Cheerful Melodies — opera hall, three stories, trap doors floor and ceiling to allow ghosts, demons and supernatural beings to appear and disappear, stage can hold 1,000 people, built 1817
Nine Dragon Screen, detail, glazed tile — symbol of imperial power and strength
enough fun for one day
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