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Pierson, Stacey (2018) '"True Beauty of Form and Chaste Embellishment": Summer Palace Loot and Chinese Porcelain Collecting in Nineteenth-century Britain.' In: Tythacott, Louise, (ed.), Collecting and Displaying China's "Summer Palace" in the West. The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp. 72-86. (The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950)

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This chapter considers how the novelty of the Yuanmingyuan objects was received and conceived of by collectors shortly after the 1860 aggression. It explores how these new objects were incorporated into a developing canon of "Chinese" things, particularly Chinese porcelain, and the most popular type of Chinese object in Britain. With reference to the ceramics, J. H. Lawrence-Archer notes that they have a different visual appearance and style than others, exhibiting "true beauty of form and chaste embellishment." Lawrence-Archer makes a number of interesting comments that are indicative of the reception of Summer Palace material by art collectors in Britain as well as their interpretation. The looting had consequences in the world of objects, both in the art market and in art scholarship, where it is increasingly seen as another example of colonial aggression and therefore an object repatriation issue.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
ISBN: 9781138080553
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2018 13:17

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