A Study of Qianlong Official Wares and the Ideal of a Sagacious Ruler
|關鍵字:||乾隆官窯;聖王;陶冶圖冊;唐英;畫琺瑯;洋彩;陶瓷典藏;Qianlong official wares;sagacious ruler;Illustrated Album of Pottery;Tang Ying;painted enamelware;yangcai;collection of ceramics||公開日期:||2011||摘要:||本論文擬以乾隆朝的官窯瓷器作為研究觀察的基礎素材，從中探討在以帝王為中心的產造與典藏脈絡中，乾隆皇帝如何透過他賦予當朝及古代官窯的種種想法，來呈現他思及做為聖王的理想。
This essay uses research and observations from the production of official porcelains during the Qianlong reign in the Qing dynasty as a foundation for study to explore tendencies in the firing and collecting of porcelains based on imperial taste at the time. This study attempts to demonstrate how the Qianlong Emperor expressed his thought and practice concerning the ideal of a “sagacious ruler.” The so-called “sagacious ruler,” if viewed from the perspective of political ideal, can be found in the Qianlong Emperor’s statements about his ideas of following in the footsteps of the sagacious rulers of antiquity. In his anthology of poetry, for example, Qianlong praises the “Two Emperors” (Yao and Shun) and “Three Kings” (Yu, Tang, and Wen) of high antiquity as enlightened rulers. From such discussions, we learn that Qianlong was actually following the preceding Kangxi and Yongzheng Emperors in fulfilling the political ideal set forth by the “Two Emperors and Three Kings.” Qianlong even went on to discuss the reasons why Shun should be considered a sagacious ruler, paying respect to him even in the naming of one of his studios. With such reverence for Shun, it is no wonder that Qianlong would often single him out as a model for emulation. The Qianlong Emperor used as many ways as possible to turn his idea into a reality through cultural enterprises, endowing the production and collection of arts and crafts under his control as a model for communicating the virtues of ancient Chinese sages. With the emperor’s particular reverence for Shun, especially in terms of his legendary achievement in ceramics, the influence was far-reaching, leading the Qianlong Emperor to focus on the production of porcelains far more than the Kangxi and Yongzheng Emperors. Of note is Qianlong’s special attention to the quality of official porcelains, expenditures of firing, and mechanisms for operation. Not only did Qianlong promote the firing of porcelains to emulate the “remaining model” of Shun, he also viewed the products of imperial kilns of the time as collectibles. The result was that these porcelains were included in the system of collection and display for antique pieces at the Qing court collection, indicating the extraordinary value with which they were viewed. Furthermore, to reinforce the Qianlong Emperor’s stated idea of emulating the virtues of the ancient sages, he also had his poetry engraved on porcelains in the old collection of the Qing court. Imbuing an antique with the added meaning of imperial poetry gave it completely new significance. This level of attached importance is seen in Qianlong’s description of the virtue and import behind the objects, thereby revealing the path by which he praised and emulated the models of antiquity using the court collection of ceramics. In doing so, not only did Qianlong express his unique personal interpretation of the “remaining model,” this group of ancient ceramics with imperial poetry can be viewed as the emperor’s personal mark, giving the reorganization and reformation of the Qing court collection special significance. Finally, the promotion and dissemination of this significance allowed Qianlong to make full use of the court collection of ancient and contemporary porcelains in pursuing the significance behind the ancient sages, virtuous rulers, and Heavens. The highest realm to which the Qianlong Emperor achieved in his ideal not only allowed the brilliance of the ancient sages to shine through, it also helped form his own positive image to reinforce the promotion of his thought and his actively becoming a sagacious ruler himself.
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