So rich is the Palace Museum’s treasure-house of art that it is impossible to show it all at once. The collection’s most valuable painting scroll, ‘Along the River During the Qingming Festival’, has just gone back into the vaults. But never mind, because a second batch of items is now on display as the museum continues to celebrate its 90th Anniversary.
The imperial collection comprises many of the finest and rarest examples of ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy, some of which have not had an outing in ten years! The definite star item in the second batch introduced on October the 13th is “Lan Ting Ji Xu”,” or “Preface to Poems Collected from the Orchid Pavilion.”
The original work by Wang Xizhi, almost 17-hundred years ago, was lost long ago, but the copy by Feng Chengsu during the Tang Dynasty is by far the best imitation ever made.
Ever since the first batch of items went on display on Sept 8, the museum has been swamped by eager crowds getting up before the crack of dawn and standing in line for hours in front of Beijing’s Forbidden City. Now, with the second batch of rare items on display, that pattern is sure to continue.