I was interested to see in the Macao Museum, the reference to “thought control” as used for a time in 20th century China. They are honest in presenting their history.
You might wonder what Versailles and The Forbidden City have in common as seen in the exhibit from the Louvre now showing at the Museu de Macau.
I thought I would quote from parts of the brochure since it seemed, at first, an unusual pairing to me.
First, the brochure explains Versailles. Then, “The Forbidden City, built on the central line that runs through the heart of Beijing from north to south, was the imperial residence in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The majestic buildings comprise over nine thousand apartments and chambers. It is the largest and most intact remaining architectural complex in China.”
“Though separated by vast expanses of water and land, Versailles and the Forbidden City are nonetheless connected by many cultural links. Among them stands “copperplate engraving”, an art that once enhanced the relationship between the two time-honoured cultures through the gateway of Macao.
In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, Jesuit missionaries came to Macao on the “Maritime Silk Road.” After studying Chinese at the College of St. Paul, they entered the Mainland to carry out their work. Represented by Mateo Ricci, the Jesuit missionaries were all erudite scholars mastering astronomy, geography, mathematics and art. From Macao they took many images of Mary and Jesus, including elaborate copperplate engravings. Macao hence naturally became a cultural entry point for the European Renaissance and engravings.
Copperplate engraving appeared in Europe during the 15th century. It was so named because of the engraved copper plate from which pictures were printed. With its refined and delicate style, meticulous craftsmanship and expressive precision, it was an immediate success in both the imperial household and among the populace. In 1600, Matteo Ricci presented oil paintings, copperplate engravings and striking clocks to the Wanli emperor, and thus gained his favour and was allowed to stay for a rather long period in Beijing; in 1687, through the Jesuit missionaries, Louis XIV of France offered engravings from the “Cabinet du Roi” to the very pleased and enthusiastic Kangxi emperor.”
The Chinese emperors not only appreciated the engravings, they commissioned works, so the Quianlong emperor commissioned “The Conquests of the Emperor of China,” when rebellions by different tribes were crushed. This was in 1755, 1758 and 1759.
All of this is fascinating to see, plus there is a video showing the work of making an engraving. This is no small task, and the whole process is a master of artistry in deed.
I am still with the intricacy of the work, influenced by the lines, and what they represent.
In the space is peace. I know I keep harping on this subject of peace, but, it is hard, when one is here, to understand disagreement and war. One really does vibrate to the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
East and West met in navigating the world. There were two Silk Roads, one on land and one on sea. The world is even smaller now. Airplanes touch down each day.
We saw two globes yesterday made during the time of Louis XIV. Each one was four meters in diameter. Baja California was represented, but where Upper California might have been was a blank. It was unexplored, unmapped, unknown. It is odd to see your “home” as a blank, and yet, it also says something about the purity of the area in which I live. The natives were living in peaceful abundance. They had enough.
On another front, British Air is no longer going to fly between Detroit and London. That says something about the state of the car industry in the U.S. It is like a piece of our map will disappear.
I was not able to access a link to Garrison Keillor’s column, but I am hoping you can find one there, or that I gave you a noble taste of Living Cheer.
Happy Day, and for you, I see it is night! Sleep tight and dream of children and toys. May any mountains that are yours to climb be as manageable and easy to climb as rocks.