LONDON — The Ming Dynasty ruled China from to , and it was under its aegis, during the first half of the 15th century, that technological and design advances brought milky white and cobalt-blue porcelain to perfection. The show runs from Sept. With its population of around 85 million, 15th-century Ming China was by far the largest state on the globe. The exhibition opens with two magnificent silk hanging scrolls: the earliest known painting of Nanjing, where Zhu Yuanzhang made his capital from to , and a later 15th-century image of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The third Ming ruler, the Yongle emperor , made the momentous decision to move the capital to Beijing. A long-term consequence of this relocation was the adoption of the local dialect, Mandarin, as the language of imperial administration and communication.
Blue notes: A guide to Chinese blue-and-white porcelain
97 Best Chinese Ming Dynasty pottery 96 images | Chinese ceramics, Chinese, Pottery
The colour blue gained special significance in the history of Chinese ceramics during the Tang dynasty In the Yuan , Ming and Qing dynasties in particular, different types of cobalt ore and methods of application determined the distinctive feature of the shades of blue that appeared on blue-and-white porcelain ware. It is believed that cobalt ores had been widely exploited in West Asia for use as pigments since as early as B. In China, they were first used for glassmaking during the Warring States B.
The porcelain of the Ming Dynasty of China CE benefitted, as did other arts, from the economic success of the 15th century CE, in particular, and the consequent surge in demand for quality handcraft production both at home and abroad. The Ming dynasty is rightly famous for its fine ceramics and especially the cobalt blue-and-white porcelain produced in such towns as Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province. Still highly prized by collectors today, Ming porcelain would have a major influence on the ceramics of many other countries from Japan to Britain.
Chinese ceramics show a continuous development since pre-dynastic times and are one of the most significant forms of Chinese art and ceramics globally. The first pottery was made during the Palaeolithic era. Chinese ceramics range from construction materials such as bricks and tiles, to hand-built pottery vessels fired in bonfires or kilns , to the sophisticated Chinese porcelain wares made for the imperial court and for export. Porcelain was a Chinese invention and is so identified with China that it is still called "china" in everyday English usage.