Learning to Paint in Premodern China

February 18, 2023–January 7, 2024
Free with Museum admission
All exhibitions

This exhibition will consider the underexplored question of how painters learned their craft in premodern China. Some painters learned at home, from fathers, mothers, or other relatives among whom painting was a shared language of familial communication. Others learned from friends who shared their passion. Still others turned to painting manuals, treatises that expanded knowledge of painting to anyone who could buy a woodblock-printed book. Paintings from The Met collection, along with a choice selection of important works from local private collectors, will illuminate these and other pathways to becoming a painter in premodern China. The exhibition will be presented in two rotations.

Rotation 1: February 18–July 16, 2023
Rotation 2: August 12, 2023–January 7, 2024

The exhibition is made possible by the Joseph Hotung Fund.

Exhibition Objects

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Incense burner, Hu Wenming  Chinese, Parcel gilt copper alloy, China
Attributed to Hu Wenming (Chinese, active late 16th–early 17th century)
17th century
Marquee: Wang Yuanqi (Chinese, 1642–1715). Streams and Mountains without End (detail), Qing dynasty (1644–1911), undated. Handscroll; ink on paper, 7 1/8 in. x 70 ft. (43.5 x 2133.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Partial and Promised Gift of the Family of Lo Chia-Lun, 2022 (2022.128) 

Plan Your Visit

February 18, 2023–January 7, 2024
Free with Museum admission