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  2. Embracing the Orient and the Occident

    Date:2020-04-24      Source:chnmuseum.cn

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    (photo from National Museum of China)


    In the 13th century, Marco Polo began a long and significant journey starting from Venice and across Eurasia. Ultimately, they reached a distant destination: China. At the time, China was under the great reunification of Kublai Khan of the Yuan Dynasty. Marco Polo and his party witnessed the prosperity of China’s economy and culture. Seventeen years later, they returned to their homeland, and found Venice experiencing it’s own great revolution in The European Renaissance. From the 13th century to the 16th century, Westerners who travelled between Europe and Asia became like Marco Polo a bridge connecting the two distant continents. Reflecting on this historical period, one may consider whether the exchanges and collision between Chinese and Western cultures may have become a cause of the European Renaissance. Conversely, one may ask what kind of impact the interchange between the two civilizations has brought on China.

    Jointly organized by the National Museum of China and the Hunan Provincial Museum, this exhibition integrates more than 200 pieces from 24 Italian museums and 18 domestic museums to tell the story about exchanges between Chinese and Italian art during the 13th to the 16th centuries. Through rediscovering the Chinese inspired elements hidden in Italian Renaissance art, and re-probing the influence of the West on Chinese art, this exhibition reveals the complex dynamics of multicultural integration in the formation of human civilization. This exhibition brings together exquisite Chinese and Western art that spans time, space and media. In addition, this exhibition offers a thoughtful reflection on the subject of cross cultural artistic exchange led by forefront research experts from the international academic community.

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