Qing Dynasty Yixing History
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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.
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