A special exhibition of 40 paintings and calligraphy pieces on loan from the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts on Saturday opened at the National Palace Museum in Taipei.
Many of the pieces featured in the exhibition are monumental in art history, the National Palace Museum said in a statement on Friday.
Some of the works are considered to be the missing puzzle pieces that would complete collections of other major museums worldwide, it said.
Photo: CNA
As a result, the works of art in the exhibition could be considered “hidden gems” in the eyes of many museums — hence the title of the exhibition, “Hidden Gems” (遺珠), it said.
Comparing art to a boundless sea, the museum said that art collections are like pearls that piece together a complete picture of art history.
The works on loan originally belonged to the collection of Fusajiro Abe, a well-known Japanese collector of Chinese paintings and calligraphy pieces who lived from 1868 to 1937, it said.
They were donated to the Osaka museum in 1943 by his son, Kojiro Abe, it added.
Fusajiro Abe was deeply moved by the accomplishments of Chinese artists, and in the early 20th century sought to purchase works from China and in Japan, it said.
Among the collection were The Five Planets and Twenty-eight Constellations (五星二 十 八宿神形圖) by Zhang Sengyou (張僧繇), Reading the Memorial Stele (讀碑窠石圖) by Li Cheng (李成) and Wang Xiao (王曉), and Pavilions Among Mountains and Rivers (江山樓觀圖) by Yan Wengui (燕文貴).
“Hidden Gems,” which is to run through Sept. 21, is the first large-scale exhibition of borrowed paintings and calligraphy to take place at the National Palace Museum, it said.
The museum has also selected paintings and calligraphy pieces from its own collection to be exhibited alongside the loaned works, it added.
The pieces from the museum’s collection include national treasures such as Traveling on a River After Snow (雪霽江行圖) by Guo Zhongshu (郭忠恕), the museum said, calling the exhibition a must-see for fans of painting and calligraphy.
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