Forbidden City
Exhibition Halls

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

The Exhibition Halls
展览馆

Some of the buildings in the forbidden city with more minor original functions have been internally converted to hold permanent, but sometimes changing, exhibitions of artefacts of various types - including clocks, ceramics, paintings and bronzes. But first, a little background.

紫禁城的一些次要的建筑内部都改成永久性的展厅了,有时会有一些变化,展示一些不同类型的东西,例如钟表、陶瓷、书画、青铜器。但首先要有一点背景。

The Imperial Studios
工艺美术馆

The emperors of China retained artists and craftsmen to manufacture works of the highest quality both to please their senses and add weight to their claim of legitimacy. Under the Qing dynasty, imperial porcelain makers from JingDeZhen introduced new glazes, shapes and techniques. The imperial studios produced paintings with traditional themes such as portraiture, landscapes, birds and flowers, and religious subjects, as well as detailed representations of political ceremonies, military conquests, and imperial processions.

Unlike earlier dynasties, the Qing court also employed Jesuit artists from Europe, whose introduction of western painting techniques and aesthetics stamped the academy as a whole with a unique visual flavor.

中国的皇帝收藏着中国艺术家和工匠们的顶级作品,即满足了他们的感官又因这合理的需要增加了分量。清代的御用瓷器都在景德镇生产,引进新的油料、造型和工艺。皇帝的工作室运用传统的主题进行着色,例如人物画、山水画、花、鸟和一些宗教题目,也详细描述朝政大典、军事征服和皇帝的队伍。不同于以前的朝代,清王朝还从欧洲雇用了一些耶稣会士的艺术家,他们引进一些西方绘画技巧和美学理念,这个科学学会作为一个整体有着独特的视觉风味。

Religious Art
宗教艺术

The Qing emperors retained their sacred Manchurian traditions, performing shamanistic rituals within the seclusion of the Forbidden City. In addition, they became ardent supporters of tantric Buddhism, imported from Tibet and Mongolia. Tibetan monks, stationed at the Hall of Uprightness, were employed as artists to produce religious objects for the emperor.

One example of their fine handiwork is the gilded alms bowl laced with eight dragons and Buddhist symbols. In contrast to its inherent symbolism, the bowl is opulently lined with silk and threaded with gold brocade.

Another example is the gold figure of Maitreya-the Buddha of the future who waits patiently in heaven, bestowing his limitless compassion on human beings until he is reborn on earth in 548 million years. Composed of solid gold and encrusted with pearls, the figure stands nearly twenty inches in height and weighs more than forty-two pounds.

清朝的皇帝保留着他们满族自己的宗教,萨满祭祀就在封闭的紫禁城内。此外,他们还变得热衷于从西藏蒙古引进的佛教。西藏的僧侣住在正气殿,被聘为艺术家为皇上制作宗教器物。一个证明他们精湛手工艺的例子是一个镀金钵盂带有八个龙及佛教的符号。

另一个例子是一尊未来的金弥勒佛,他在耐心的在天堂等待,给于人类无限的怜悯直到重生,他在地球上已有548百万年。全身由固体黄金和珍珠覆盖,雕塑高21英尺,重超过42磅。

Textiles and Apparel
纺织品和服饰

Throughout their long reign, the Manchu leaders of the Qing dynasty strove to retain their own culture while adopting that of their subjects as well. This balance between cultural assimilation and isolationism is evident in the decrees issued for imperial apparel within the Forbidden City.

Reflecting the nomadic heritage of the rulers, robes were close-fitting on top and slit on the sides to allow comfort in the saddle. Sleeves were tight around the arms to keep out the wind, and the 'horse-hoof' shaped cuffs flared out to protect the hands. However, although the cut and style of the robes depicted Manchu style, the color and symbolism of court apparel followed the traditional Chinese pattern. Bright yellow was reserved for the emperor, empress and empress dowager. Likewise, the dragon, long a symbol of the emperor in China, was a principal motif not only for stately court robes but also for the emperor's accoutrements.

在清朝满族的领导的长期统治下,他们尽量保留他们自己的文化和他们的学科。这种文化之间的同化和孤立的平衡,从法令规定的紫禁城里的皇家服饰可显而易见。

反应了游牧民族的统治者,长袍是帖身的,两边有开缝直到可以舒适的坐在马鞍上。袖子围绕着胳膊是紧绷的,以防止灌入风,袖口是马蹄型外翻的,用来保护手部。然而,虽然长袍都是满族的风格,但颜色和象征图案仍然是中华民族传统的象征。鲜黄色是留给皇帝、皇后和太后的。同样的,龙是中国皇帝的象征,它是一个主要的主题不仅用在朝廷的制服上,还用在御林军的军服上。

As Manchu women rejected the traditional Chinese practice of footbinding, their feet appeared large in the eyes of their Chinese subjects. To make their feet look less inelegant, they adopted a style of shoe with a high platform, which forced them to take the small steps characteristic of Chinese women whose feet had been bound.

满族的女人拒绝中国传统的裹脚,她们的脚在她们的国民心目中是巨大的。为了减少这种不雅,她们穿一种中间有高跟的鞋具,这迫使她们不得不迈小步子走路,就像那些中国裹脚的女人一样。


The Hall of Clocks and Watches
钟表馆


Entance to the Hall of Clocks and Watches.

From the courtyard between the Inner and Outer Courts, turn to the east and you will see a gallery behind the Palace of Earthly Tranquility to the north-east. It is located in the east of the Inner Court through the Gate of Respect Movement (Jing Yun Men).

The Hall for Ancestral Worship (FengXianDian) was built in 1656 during the Qing dynasty. It has a front hall and a rear hall, which are connected by a lobby. Its main function was to offer sacrifices to imperial ancestors. Grand sacrifice ceremonies would be held in its front hall on important occasions. On the days of their ancestors' birth, death and traditional festivals, ceremonies would be held in the rear hall. Shrines and statues in the hall were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.

The lobby has been expanded and now the hall looks almost square inside. This hall is now open to the public as the Clock and Watch Exhibition Hall.

从内朝外朝之间的庭院往东转,你会看到一个走廊从坤宁宫后面到东北方向。它位于内廷的东面,穿过景运门。

奉先殿建于1656年的清朝年间。它有一个前殿和一个后殿,中间有由大厅连接。它主要是供奉皇帝祖先的地方。在一些重要场合会有盛大的祭典在前殿举行。在祖先的生日、祭日和一些传统节日的典礼在后殿举行。殿内有神祠和雕像都被毁于文化大革命时期。中间的大厅被扩建,现在大殿的内部看起来呈正方形。这个大殿现在被改装为公开的钟表展厅。

This exhibition hall houses about 200 clocks and watches from the imperial collection. These watches and clocks are mostly made in Switzerland, England, France, the U.S and Japan, gifts presented to the emperor by envoys. Some Chinese made timepieces are also on display.

这个展厅里大约有200件皇帝收藏的钟和表。这些钟表大多是制造于瑞士、英国、法国、美国和日本,是他们的使节作为礼物送给皇帝的。也陈列着一些中国的老时钟。

There are two clocks that deserve the greatest attention. You can easily see them when you enter the Hall. The one on the left is a Chime Clock, it was made during the Qing Dynasty, around 1797, by the royal clockmakers. This clock can still run up to 72 hours after it is well wound and it can also strike hours and quarters. It is 5.85 metres high and stands on a 2.6 metre high square base.

Symmetrically standing on the right hand side is a huge water clock made in 1799. The clock is 6 metres high and is the largest water clock in China. The clock is made up of four bronze pots, these bronze pots, identical in size, are arranged vertically. The water in the upper pot drops into the second one through a small hole and, in turn, drops into the third and finally into the bottom. There is a float in the bottom pot with markers for the time that the water level indicates.

有两个种是最值得关注的。一走进大殿你就能很荣易的看到他们。一个在左边是报时种,它是皇室的钟表匠建造于清朝,大约在1797年。这个钟上满弦后仍然能走72个小时,而且满小时和一刻钟时还可以报时。。这个钟高5.85米,站在一个高2.6米的方形基座上。

对称的站在右手边的是1799年制造的巨大的水钟。这个钟高6米,它是中国最大的水钟。这个水钟由四个青铜罐组成,这些同样大小的青铜罐垂直排列在一条直线上。水通过一个小洞从第一个罐子落到第二个罐子里,然后滴入第三个,最后进入底部的那个。在底部的罐子里有个漂浮的刻度尺利用水位线来显示时间。


The Treasure Hall
珍宝馆

The Treasure Hall consists of three imperial palaces : namely, Character Cultivation Palace, Happiness Longevity Hall and Combined Harmony Porch. The private apartments of Emperor QianLong and Empress Dowager Ci'Xi were here.

The Character Cultivation Palace must have reminded the old Emperor QianLong of the Hall of Mental Cultivation where he had lived for a long time. Happiness Longevity Hall used to be Emperor QianLong's library, and the Empress Dowager Ci'Xi also celebrated her 61th birthday here. The Combined Harmony Porch was the repose of Emperor QianLong.

Now, these three palaces have been turned into three exhibition halls where some of the imperial treasures are displayed.

珍宝殿是由三个宫殿组成的即:养性殿、乐寿堂和颐和轩。过去这是乾隆皇上和慈禧太后的私人住宅。

养性殿一定使老年的乾隆想起他曾在那居住很久的养心殿。乐寿堂过去是乾隆的图书馆,慈禧太后也曾在这庆祝了她61大寿。颐和轩过去是皇帝休息的地方。现在这三个殿变成了三个展馆,里面陈列着以前皇帝的珍宝。

Many of the exhibits are tea sets or dinner sets made of materials like gold, silver and jade.

The dinner sets were mostly made of silver as it could indicate whether or not the food was poisonous; the silver container would turn black when it contained poisonous food.

Other exhibits are old chimes, imperial seals, milk containers, Ruyi (a lucky sceptre), small incense burners and other religious vessels and bowls. The jade jar and mountain carries the good wishes of the emperor. It comes from a Chinese couplet wishing the Emperor happiness as boundless as the water in the East Sea, and his life as long as the old pine tree on the South Mountain.

There are also many pavilions, pagodas and towers made of gold or jade. These were gifts for the emperor's concubines. Also noteworthy is the gold stupa used to collect the fallen hair of Emperor QianLong's mother. It weighs more than 100 kg and is made of gold.

The treasured ivory mat deserves special attention. It is 216 cm long and 139cm wide and made of delicate ivory strips. It is said that the mat was woven about 250 years ago. Altogether, 5 mats were produced and kept in the Museum at that time. Where are these valuable treasures now? You may wonder. Well, in 1960, when the relics of the Palace Museum were catalogued, only one was found, the other four had simply disappeared. A few years later, the Shangdong Provincial Museum in East China collected one from a local peasant. The peasant said that the ivory mat was brought there by a local pearl broker and in turn, he sent it to a nearby noble at the beginning of the century. The peasent had received the mat as part of the distribution during the Land Reform of the 1950s.

So how did this treasure fall into the hands of a pearl broker? Specialists believe that the mat was stolen by the Anglo-French force that invaded China in the 1900s, and later sold to the pearl broker. Another possibility is that it was stolen and sold by a court eunuch. Regardless of the reason, it is fortunate that this Chinese artifact was recovered. Later, when the Palace Museum was sorting out Taiwanese bamboo mats, surprisingly, another ivory mat was found hidden among them. This ivory mat was treated by a special process, and even today, it can be easily rolled up. It is a pity that the technique has been lost!

Not only can ivory be made into mats, but feathers have also been woven into beautiful garments. In 1983, two feather dresses of the Miao Nationality were discovered in a peasant's home. Made from the feathers of more than 100 birds, each coat has three distinctive parts, each part able to serve as a child's coat by itself. Though more than 300 years old, the feather coat has remained bright and colorful. It is said that it was left by a king's concubine of the Miao Nationality.

Unlike feather coats, jade clothing was made for the deceased. During the Han Dynasty about 2,000 years ago, it was fashionable to dress deceased emperors or nobles with this attire. Three styles existed : using gold, silver or copper thread to sew the jade slip together. The emperor wore the garment sewn in gold, kings and princesses wore ones sewn in silver, while other officials and nobles had ones sewn in copper thread. The jade slips somewhat resemble shining fish scales.

Each was made of more than 2,000 jade pieces. The gold threads used in the garment weigh about 1,800 grams. Most of the jade pieces are rectangular or square in shape, some are also triangular or other shaped. It is clear when examining the garment that each jade piece has been polished and every hole carefully drilled. At least ten different procedures were involved, including material selection, drilling and polishing. Specialists say that even with today's technology, it would take a jade carver ten years to complete one of these outfits.

许多金、银、玉制成的餐具、茶具。

成套的餐具大部分都是银制的,它能显示出食物是否有毒,如果食物有毒,银制的餐具就会变黑。

其他的展品有老报时钟、皇帝玉玺、牛奶容器、如意、小型香炉及其他宗教容器和碗。玉器和山都传载着对皇帝的美好祝福。它来源于一对中国的对联:“福如东海长流水;寿比南山不老松”。

这也有一些亭台楼阁、庙宇宝塔是用金和玉石制成的。它们都是皇上妃子们的礼物。还有一个值得注意的一个金的宝塔用来收集乾隆母亲掉下来的头发。它是用纯金制成的重达一百多公斤。

有一个珍贵的象牙垫子值得特别注意。它长216厘米,宽139厘米,是用珍贵的象牙条编制成的。据说它是在250年前编的,在那时故宫博物院里保存的总共有5个垫子。你也许想问“那些珍贵的宝贝现在在那?”。在1960年的时候,所有故宫里的文物都要被统计,但只找到了一个,其他的四个都已消失了。一些年后,在中国东部的山东省,博物馆从当地的一个农民手里收集到一个象牙垫。这个农民说最初这个垫子是被一个当地的珍珠商带来的,后来他把它送给附近的一个贵族,然后又在1950年的土改中被分配给了村里的农民。

那么这个象牙垫是怎么落到珍珠商的手里的呢?专家们认为是1900年英法联军侵略中国的时候被偷的,后来他们卖给了珍珠商。另一种可能是被宫廷里的太监偷走卖掉的。无论什么原因,它是幸运的中国文物又被追回了。之后,当故宫博物馆整理闽南竹席的时候,惊讶的发现竟然有另一个象牙席藏在里面。这种象牙席是经过一种特殊的工艺精致加工的,直到今天它仍然能轻易的卷起来,可惜这种技术今天已经失传了。

不仅只有象牙能做成席子,羽毛也能做成美丽的外衣。1983年两件苗族的羽毛服饰在一个农民家里被发现。制成衣服的羽毛来自100多种鸟,每一件衣服都有三个特别的地方,每一个地方都可以当作小孩的外套。虽然有300多年了,但羽绒衣仍然绚丽多彩。据说是一个苗族的皇妃留下的。

不像羽绒大衣,玉衣是为死者做的。在2000年以前的汉朝很流行给已故的皇帝和王公大臣穿上这种 衣服。有三个风格仍然存在:用金、银、铜丝线把玉片缝在一起。皇帝穿用金线缝在而成的衣服;君主和王子们穿用银缝制的衣服;王公大臣们穿铜线缝制的。玉片有点像闪耀的鱼鳞。

每件衣服大约要用上2000个玉片,缝衣服用的金线重约1,800克。大部分的玉片都是正方形和矩形的,有时也有三角形和其它形状的。在研究这些衣服的时候,显然每一个玉片都打磨的很光亮,每一个洞都钻的非常小心仔细。大概有十个相关的不同工序,包括原料的挑选、打磨、抛光。据专家们说即使今天我们用现代的玉器雕刻技术,也要花上十年才能完成一件衣服。

The exhibits we have discussed are only a small portion of the treasures of the Forbidden City. And the items on display are only a part of the total collection. So it is difficult to imagine how many treasures there were originally in the Forbidden City. When the KuoMingTang government of Chiang Kai Shek fled the mainland for Taiwan, they packed almost everything movable. Altogether, 2,972 cases of treasures were shipped to Taiwan. Nonetheless, what you can see today provides a good taste of the treasures of the Forbidden City.

我们讨论的这些展品,只是紫禁城中珍宝的一小部分。而展品只是这类收藏总数的一部分。我们很难想像在紫禁城里最初到底有多少珍宝。当国民党政府蒋介石逃离大陆去台湾的时候,卷走了一切能带走的珍宝,总计2792例珍品被运到了台湾。尽管如此,你可以看到紫禁城里的珍宝,现在仍然可以提供给你一个很好的品味。


The Hall of Paintings
珍画殿


Qing Emperor QianLong.


Qing Emperor QianLong's calligraphy.


Next : The Nine Dragon Screen

Forbidden City
Introduction

Forbidden City
: Introduction
Forbidden City : History
Forbidden City : Layout
Forbidden City : Map
Getting there

The Meridian Gate (outside)
The Meridian Gate (inside)
The First Courtyard
The Gate of Supreme Harmony

The Second Courtyard
The Hall of Supreme Harmony (part 1)
The Hall of Supreme Harmony (part 2)
The Hall of Complete Harmony
The Hall of Preserving Harmony

The Large Stone Carving

The Gate of Celestial Purity
The Hall of Celestial Purity
The Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union
The Hall of Terrestrial Tranquility
The Imperial Garden
The Imperial Garden (part 2)

The Exhibition Halls
The 9 Dragon Screen
Other Places of Interest

Doorways
Doorways (part 2)
Pots
Sculptures
Decorative Tiles
Roofs
Beams and Ceilings
Windows and Doors
Gorgoyles
Ballustrades
Walls & Screens

Sunset at the Forbidden City

Beijing Guide


Share this page

  


Quick Links
Top travel guides

Great Wall of China

Great Wall Beijing

Forbidden City

Summer Palace

Temple of Heaven

Beihai Park

Tian'AnMen Square

JingShan Park

YuanMingYuan Park