Production of Yixing teapots declined during the fall of the Ming and transition to the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1912 CE). Many of the scholar-officials, who were Ming supporter and loyalists, fell from power and favor under the Qing; hundreds of scholars and officials committed suicide on the death of the Hongguang Emperor (the first Emperor of the Southern Ming Dynasty) and peasants staged a revolt. Patronage of art and ceramics declined during this time, trade in kiln materials and fired wares were disrupted, and the merchant economy contracted – all of which reduced production and demand for high-end wares.
The initial focus of the Qing empire was consolidation and control of the Sinosphere, leaving precious little time for artistic development or a reemergence of the Han Chinese literati class. It wasn’t until the (relatively) peaceful reigns by the trio of scholar-Emperors, Kangxi (康熙, r. 1661 –1722 CE), Yongzhen (雍正, r. 1722 – 1735 CE), and Qianlong (乾隆, r. 1735 – 1796 CE), that ceramic production and connoisseurship regained its prominence and reached its zenith within the dynastic period.
This page is for paying subscribers onlySubscribe Now
Already have an account? Log in