Rare glimpse of a masterpiece

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-14 07:27

Rare glimpse of a masterpiece

Staff members from the Palace Museum arrange the Song Dynasty masterpiece for the exhibition. [Photo by Zhang Wei/China Daily]

Among the displayed works is Springtime Jaunt by Zhan Ziqian in the Sui Dynasty (581-618)-believed to be the oldest surviving blue-and-green painting.

Rivers and Mountains in Autumn, another top painting from the Song era, known for its depiction of peaks, is also among the exhibits.

Shan Jixiang, director of the museum, says: "The exhibition is the outcome of research in our museum. We'd like to narrow down our topics and set specific themes. So, the exhibitions reflect our achievements in academic studies."

Earlier, key paintings in the Palace Museum used to be exhibited in rotation, two to three times a year, but there was no specific theme. This old display method was abandoned in 2015.

Now, top paintings in the Palace Museum like A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains are stored for three to four years before being exhibited at least once.

"If people want to see it again, they have to wait," says Shan.

In 2015, when Alongside the River During the Qingming Festival, one of the best-known Chinese paintings, also from the Song Dynasty, was exhibited in the Palace Museum, visitors stood in long lines to see it.

"Long lines are also expected this time," says Shan.

Nevertheless, as a separate exhibition space is set aside for A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains and six other works, the director says things will be better this time.

"Still, we will consider setting a quota for visitors," he says. "But the specific number will depend on the response."

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If you go

8:30 am-5 pm, through Oct 31; 8:30 am-4:30 pm, starting from Nov 1; Mondays closed; through Dec 14 (some exhibits including A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains will be replaced after Oct 30). Meridian Gate (Wumen) Gallery, the Palace Museum, 4 Jingshan Qianjie, Dongcheng district, Beijing. Visit for more information.

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