Hong Kong Palace Museum | Grand Gallop: Art and Culture of the Horse

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Hong Kong Palace Museum

West Kowloon Cultural District, 8 Museum Drive, Kowloon


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Grand Gallop: Art and Culture of the Horse

2022.07.03 - 2022.12.31
Gallery 9
Grand Gallop: Art and Culture of the Horse
2022.07.03 - 2022.12.31
Gallery 9

With more than 100 of the finest paintings, sculptures, and decorative art objects from the Palace Museum, this special exhibition offers visitors a rare opportunity to learn about the rich symbolic, social, military, and political significance of the horse—one of the most beloved subjects in Chinese art. Loans from the Palace Museum and the Louvre in juxtaposition highlight the significance of the horse in world cultures.

The Qianlong Emperor in Armour on Horseback

The Qianlong Emperor in Armour on Horseback
Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1758
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on silk
© The Palace Museum

Highlighted objects

The Qianlong Emperor in Armour on Horseback

The Qianlong Emperor in Armour on Horseback

Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1758
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on silk
© The Palace Museum

The Qianlong Emperor in Armour on Horseback

On the fifth day in the eleventh month of 1758, to celebrate the surrender of eastern Kazakhstan, the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty held a grand inspection ceremony of the Eight Banners army at the Southern Hunting Park in Beijing. After the military drill, Qianlong mounted his horse to demonstrate his archery skills. All the seven arrows he shot were on target! This portrait conveys the glory of the emperor in his ceremonial armour astride a magnificent white horse.

The Qianlong Emperor in Armour on Horseback
Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1758
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on silk
© The Palace Museum
Clock with horse handler

Clock with horse handler

Stephen Rimbault (active 1744–1788)
London, England
Gilded bronze, glass, pearls, and white enamel
© The Palace Museum

Clock with horse handler

This clock features a horse with a saddle pad decorated with images of colourful birds. Leading the horse is a figure wearing a head wrap with a crescent moon and an ornate sherwani (long coat). He holds a golden arrow, which recalls the story of Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), who shot gold-tipped arrows so that the victims’ families could sell them for medicine or restitution.

Clock with horse handler
Stephen Rimbault (active 1744–1788)
London, England
Gilded bronze, glass, pearls, and white enamel
© The Palace Museum
Deer Hunting on Horseback

Deer Hunting on Horseback (detail)

Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736–1795)
Handscroll, ink and colour on paper
© The Palace Museum

Deer Hunting on Horseback

Seen in this handscroll is an autumnal hunting scene with the Qianlong Emperor and an imperial woman on the grounds of the Mulan hunting preserve (in modern-day Hebei province), known for its thick forests and plentiful game. Surrounded by red foliage and contrasting blue-green terrain, the gallant horsewoman hands the emperor a fresh arrow to replace one shot at the deer.

Deer Hunting on Horseback (detail)
Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736–1795)
Handscroll, ink and colour on paper
© The Palace Museum

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Hong Kong Palace Museum
Map

Hong Kong Palace Museum

West Kowloon Cultural District, 8 Museum Drive, Kowloon


Mon, Wed, Thu & Sun
10:00 am – 06:00 pm
Fri, Sat & Public Holiday
10:00 am – 08:00 pm