Royal Taste

The Art of Princely Courts in Fifteenth-Century China

Fan Jeremy Zhang (ed.)

ISBN: 978 1 85759 972 5
Size: 292 x 241 mm / 9½ x 11½ in.
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 224
Images: 270

UK £45.00 / US $65.00


  • Features objects which have never been seen before outside China 
  • Their quality of craftsmanship and beauty of design testify to the richness and sophistication of the art and culture of the nobility in the provinces.
  • Published to accompany an exhibition at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which runs from 9 October 2015 to 10 January 2016


Royal Taste offers a rare opportunity to examine more than a hundred objects from five museums in Hubei, China, including metal and porcelain work, jewellery, paintings and sculpture. Highlights include exciting archaeological finds from recently excavated royal tombs and state-commissioned Daoist statues from Mt Wudang that illustrate the luxurious life and religious practice of princely courts in early and mid-Ming China (1368-1644).

With essays and entries from seven leading scholars, this beautifully illustrated catalogue offers fresh perspectives on the material culture of China at a time before Europe entered its great age of discovery. Major themes include the impact of state patronage on Daoist and Tibetan Buddhist art, and the role of princely courts in defining late imperial Chinese art and culture.

Further information on the exhibition is available from the museum website.


Fan Jeremy Zhang is Associate Curator of Asian Art at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.


"Chinese museums have been lending to their American counterparts quite a bit lately, and now the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla., will benefit from the trend. For 'Royal Taste: The Art of Princely Courts in 15th-Century China,' opening in October, Ringling will borrow provincial Chinese artifacts that rarely travel. Fan Jeremy Zhang, Asian art curator at the museum, has helped negotiate loans from museums around his original home, Hubei Province in eastern China. The Ringling exhibition will focus on the possessions of Ming dynasty princes who were sent to Hubei by the Beijing court. These include statues of deities, landscape paintings and jewelry and gemstones found in tombs."
New York Times, 26 Feb 2015

"A stunning collection of priceless art."
SRQ Magazine