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Art Diary

Fascinating Jade: Chinese Jade Miniatures from Four Millennia

19 August 2022

This exhibition at Museum Rietberg in Zurich (26 August–22 January 2023) brings together more than 130 jade miniatures to explore this intricate Chinese art form. Jade has long been thought to have magical properties that promote good health and fortune. The exhibition considers how jade objects became collectibles in the 10th century as symbols of cultural status, as well as how the gemstone came to be sculpted into small, delicate sculptures, playing on its natural translucency and subtle changes in colour. Many of the miniatures on display depict plants or animals – among them are an interwoven piece depicting two badgers from the Qianlong period (1736–95) and a serene Ming-Dynasty reclining horse miniature. An accompanying series of large-format photographs by Felix Streuli reveal the sheer precision used for such works, many no more than a few centimetres in size. Find out more on the Museum Rietberg’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here 

Reclining horse, Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), China. Museum Rietberg, Zürich. Photo: © Felix Streuli

Zodiac animal (18th century), China. Museum Rietberg, Zürich. Photo: © Felix Streuli

Two badgers (1736–95), China. Museum Rietberg, Zürich. Photo: © Felix Streuli