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Art of the Chinese Imperial Court

Bottle with Flowers of the Four Seasons, late 1300s, Chinese

Rulers of China have used art to justify their rule since early times. The ritual ceremonies and other activities they pursued impacted the development and refinement of paintings and decorative objects in the court. Later emperors of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties collected and produced calligraphy, painting, bronzes, jades, and porcelains to show their authority, status, wealth, and power. Only the finest quality works were created for imperial consumption.