The Qianlong Emperor advocated that jade mountains and carved panels should carry the spirit of paintings by famous past masters. It is recorded that a number of classical paintings from the Emperor's own collection were ordered to be reproduced in jade, such as the celebrated painting Travellers in the Mountains, by the eminent Five Dynasties painter Guan Tong (907-960). The sense of harmony and ethereality captured through the figures in the idyllic landscape is a good example of the type of carving the Qianlong Emperor envisioned.
A table screen carved with a similar landscape, in the De An Tang collection, was included in the exhibition Romance with Jade, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2004, cat. no. 67; a pair was sold in these rooms, 25th November 1981, lot 417; another pair, from the collection of R. Matthews, was sold in our London rooms, 7th November 1961, lot 354; and a third example was sold in our London rooms, 7th December 1993, lot 113. See also three jade screens carved with a similar motif, also inscribed with imperial poems, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum’s exhibition The Refined Taste of the Emperor. Special Exhibition of Archaic and Pictorial Jades of the Ch’ing Court, Taipei, 1997, cat. nos. 62, 65 and 67.
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