New Release: The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics. A Collector’s Vision Volume IV

by Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos

Following the publication in 2011 of Volumes I, II and III of The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics. A Collector’s Vision, and the success of the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2016, Global by Design. Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection, showing highlights from the collection, this fourth volume now documents] the most significant new acquisitions made by the collector over the last eight years.

Bringing together passion and an informed vision, the collector, Renato de Albuquerque, has created one of the most coherent and comprehensive collections of Chinese ceramics made for export markets. Encompassing works from the Tang (618-907) to the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, the collection is central to the understanding and study of Chinese export art.

Comprising a selection of 206 pieces or groups of pieces, this boxed, hardcover book brings new research on the intercultural connections that are central to the collection. As with the previous volumes, this fourth book is written by Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos, one of the world’s foremost experts on Chinese export porcelain. Her careful research expounds on the collector’s choices and the complex, multi-layered history of Chinese earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Published in a limited edition of 500 numbered copies, this work supplements what has been described as “the best work yet written on Chinese export porcelain” (The Economist, 2011).

The Author

Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos is a reputed specialist of 16th to 19th century Chinese Export Porcelain, who is particularly interested in the first orders for the Portuguese market. She is presently the director of Museu Nacional do Azulejo and of Museu da Presidência da República, both in Lisbon; former curator of Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga and former director of Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves, both in Lisbon, and of the Instituto Português de Museus. She has curated  exhibitions in Portugal and abroad, and given lectures at conferences on Museology, Decorative Arts and Chinese Porcelain. She is the author of various books, including "Azul e Branco da China. Porcelana ao tempo dos Descobrimentos. Colecção Amaral Cabral"; "Chinese Porcelain in the Carmona e Costa Foundation"; "Cerâmica Chinesa da Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves", volumes I to III of "The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics. A Collector’s Vision" and "The Porcelain Route. Ming and Qing Dynasties" in cooperation with other authors, and articles such as "Chinese Porcelain in Portuguese Written Sources" and "The prestige and Impact of Chinese Porcelain in the West".

The RA Collection

Renato de Albuquerque started collecting at a young age gradually building an eclectic group of works of art. However in the 1980’s his interest moved into cross-cultural works of art, in particular Chinese porcelain, where he has assembled more than 2000 pieces, in particular those made for export.

Renato de Albuquerque is not only passionate about cross-cultural works of art, but has also become a  serious connoisseur of this field, continuously reassessing the collection as to how to improve and expand it. The Chinese export porcelain and works of art section of the collection has become one of the largest  and probably most representative and of historic relevance of present times.

The collection comprises a wide range of Chinese ceramics, such as green glazed stoneware items from the third, fourth and fifth centuries, ceramic pieces from the Tang dynasty (618–907), Liao pots (907–1125) and a few pieces of celadon from various periods. However, the bulk of his collection comprises export porcelain items intended mostly for the European market, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Japan among other countries. This group, forming the core of the collection, contains mainly porcelain from the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties.

The RA Collection, as it has become known, is an indispensable source for all those who study and admire Chinese export ceramics – and especially porcelain. Its quality and diversity can only be matched by that of a handful of the great collections of the past, including some of the great royal collections.

Published by Jorge Welsh Research & Publishing
February 2019

    Language: English
    ISBN 978-0-9935068-5-7
    26 x 35.5 cm
    504 pages, 404 colour illustrations