Turn of the Sea: Art from the Eastern Trade Routes

A rare 17th century leaded brass plaque from the Kingdom of Benin; a namban oratory made in Momoyama Japan (1573–1615) during the 16th century, with an oil on copper depiction of the Holy Family; a set of four Chinese porcelain tulip vases from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) decorated in underglaze cobalt blue; as well as two views of Goa dating from 1830s, are some of the treasures on display as part of our exhibition Turn of the Sea: Art from the Eastern Trade Routes.

Other highlights include armorial porcelain commissioned by European nobility, wealthy merchants, and religious orders, dating to the Ming and Qing dynasties, exquisite namban furniture including cabinets and a lectern, and Indian and Sinhalese works of art made for export markets.

The exhibition presents over 100 works of art that not only resulted from but also contributed to the creation of global connections between the 16th and the 19th century. By encompassing new symbols, decorative patterns, shapes, functions, materials, and techniques, these works of art were originally intended to fulfil different needs throughout the world and help to document the social transformations that arose from the opening of direct channels of trade.
Jorge Welsh says what is so special about this exhibition: "This is one of our most important exhibitions in terms of the scope, variety, quality and historical relevance of the works of art assembled. It is also a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Asian Art in London." Objects in the exhibition are illustrated and discussed in the accompanying catalogue and were carefully selected for their quality, rarity, artistic expression and documental relevance to the history of the modern world.”


Exhibition hours:

London gallery

4th - 11th November   9.30 am to 5 pm

4th November, Open Evening  5 to 9 pm

5th November Sunday  by appointment

11th November  9.30 am to 4 pm 

Lisbon gallery

16th November  6 pm

17th November - 9th December 10.30 am to 7 pm