The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to the 14th Century
The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to the 14th Century brings to life the art of the feast during three transformative Chinese dynasties, the Song, Liao, and Yuan, which together enjoyed a thriving economy, cultural flourishing, and the intermingling of foreign and native traditions. Focusing on a rare group of surviving paintings from the period—along with ceramic, lacquer, metal, and stone objects as well as textiles—the exhibition reveals feasts to be singularly positioned to illuminate one of the most enduring and significant facets of the Chinese tradition: the continuum between life and the afterlife. The exhibition features fifty objects arranged in sections that focus on ladies banqueting in the past, gentlemen feasting in the present, and dining in the afterlife. Several other aspects of elite feasting—including costume, cuisine, music, and dance, as well as burial customs, architecture and gardens, artistic patronage, and painterly practice—are also explored, offering a window into life, death, and art during a time period whose cultural influence extends in China to the present day.