• Jasmine Lee

Art Exhibition Fosters China-Vatican Friendship


​At the Forbidden City in Beijing, Chinese artworks from the Vatican Museum are displayed in a pioneering cultural collaboration between China and the Holy See. Titled “Beauty Unites Us: Chinese Art from the Vatican Museums”, the exhibition opens from 28 May to 14 July 2019.

The exhibition is a collaboration with high symbolic value curated by Father Nicola Mapelli, head of the Anima Mundi Department of the Vatican Museums and Wang Yuegong, Director of Palace Life and Imperial Ritual Department.

The Vatican collection on display includes 78 items, which are divided into three sections: Catholic Art, Buddhist Art and Secular Art. Addition artworks from The Palace Museum are also exhibited together with the Vatican collection.

The title “Beauty Unites Us” underlines the message of the Vatican Museums and The Palace Museum - Catholic and Chinese arts are connected by the bridge of art. In a press release from the Palace Museum, "the exhibits include gifts which bear witness to centuries of China-Vatican friendship as well as exquisite artifacts which integrate Catholic and Chinese arts. There is also a wonderful oil painting from the Vatican Museums—Adam and Eve in the Earthly Paradise. This painting expresses the desire for harmony between humankind and nature that heads of states of both countries have often spoken of."

The exhibition includes Chinese Catholic paintings. Depicted are religious scenes from the Bible recreated with Chinese characters wearing traditional clothing in a Chinese context. One fascinating example is the Chinese-styled adaptation of the famous Christian mural painting — The Last Supper, by the early 20th century Chinese artist Ren Yifang, as well as a painting of the Madonna from the same period by Wang Suda.

Dates: 28 May 2019 - 14 July 2019

Opening hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm (TUE - SUN) (Closed on MON)

Venue: Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu men), The Palace Museum

Ticket price: 60 RMB (Adults), 20 RMB (Full-time student / Below 18), 30 RMB (Above 60)

Ticketing website: https://gugong.ktmtech.cn

For more information, visit https://en.dpm.org.cn/exhibitions/current/2019-05-23/3012.html

The Flight into Egypt

Early 20th century

Ink and colour on silk

187 x 83 cm

Inv. 125558

Madonna and Child in a Typical Chinese Garden

Early 20th century

Ink and colour on paper

205 x 68 cm

Inv. 125461

Cross

Early 20th century Cloisonné

140 x 65 x 20 cm

Inv.119968