Our Beloved Treasures: The Artistry of Ancient Trees
Ancient artists revered the spirits they believed were inherent in every aspect of nature. Drawing inspiration from the world around them, in their creations they represented its elements to beautiful effect, whether paintings of trees, stone carvings, jade sculptures, or crafted ceramics.
Among the artists’ myriad inspirations, animals stood out as a primary source. Animal-themed pieces hold a special place in the National Palace Museum’s vast collections, captivating visitors with their allure. The depictions range from simple, charming specimens to creations steeped in symbolism: horses to represent talent, roosters epitomizing vigor and sometimes seen as messengers of the sun god, ducks symbolizing gentle femininity, and rabbits standing for the Qianlong Emperor, who was born in the Year of the Rabbit.
This exhibition showcases the museum’s collection of exquisitely detailed and lifelike animal artworks. More than just an appreciation of the craftsmanship of ancient artists, it offers a deep dive into the narratives behind the pieces, enriching our understanding of classical culture.