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The Good Book
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Between 1400 and 1450, China was the largest and most powerful state in the world, run by one family, the Ming dynasty. It was an age of exploration, which allowed China and the outside world to learn from each other. The period also saw the completion of a colossal literary work, produced by over 2000 scholars and filling 11,095 volumes; the establishing of Beijing as the capital; the undertaking of ambitious building projects such as the Forbidden City; and the creation of exquisite porcelains, gold wares, jewellery, jades, lacquer, furniture, paintings, sculptures, and textiles.
This huge volume explores it all – the imperial courts, the military and cultural achievements, the complex belief systems, and the diplomatic and trading missions, through more than 250 objects brought together from museums across China and the rest of the world. It’s the perfect introduction to the stunning art of this period in China’s history. British Museum Press 312pp Hb.