The collection China, arranged thematically, gives a pretty comprehensive picture of the various disciplines of Chinese art: ceramics, jade, bronze, wood sculpture, wall painting, costumes, painting, calligraphy, furniture and decorative art.
Small showcases house burial finds of jade, bronze and ceramics, as well as incised oracle bones from the Shang Dynasty, which present the first examples of Chinese writing. The oldest ceramic objects are funerary and were used in daily life during the Han and Tang Dynasties. They depict farms, wells, grain silos, poultry and ox-carts, as well as lady-companions making music, these last reflecting the sophistication of life at the Tang court. Statuettes of camels and foreign travellers are a reminder of the trade relations on the Silk Route.
A high point in the flowering of Chinese ceramic art are the graceful vases from the Song Dynasty, with their subtle glazes. A collection of more than 3,000 pieces evokes Chinese porcelain production from the 17th to the 19th century. The collection shows a great variety of forms and styles adapted to the European market. Some examples of Blue and White, Famille Verte, Famille Rose and Chine de commande are on display.
Bed and roll paintings
A Chinese recess bed and the roll paintings and calligraphic art demonstrate the refinement of life in China during the 18th and 19th centuries.