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Ming Dynasty

Dynasty Timeline Ching Dynasty Yuan Dynasty Sung Dynasty Sung Dynasty Five Dynasties Tang Dynasty Sui Dynasty Six Dynasties Han Dynasty Chin Dynasty Chou Dynasty Shang Dynasty Neolithic Era

From This Period

Tilework Model of Sancai Pagoda
Tilework Model of Sancai Pagoda

A Poet Contemplating a Waterfall (Che School)
A Poet Contemplating a Waterfall

Suchou Temple Garden (Wu School)
Suchou Temple Garden

Bamboo and Rocks (Eccentric)
Bamboo and Rocks

See more objects from this dynasty


1368 - 1644

The last of the outstanding dynasties, the Ming was vibrant during its first half but racked with internal discord during its second. Scores of workers constructed the renowned Forbidden City, an imperial palace of staggering proportions and opulence. Ming leaders revived a sense of cultural identity and respect for traditional artifacts and craftsmanship. For example, bronze incense burners resembling those of the Shang and Chou dynasties were cast, and bright green and gold ceramic funerary objects recalled the T'ang. Three distinct schools of painting emerged: the Che echoed the formal approach of the Sung; the Wu consisted of, and appealed to, the intelligentsia; and the Eccentric fostered spontaneity and freedom of expression.

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

Video: Ming Dynasty
Curator of Asian art Robert Jacobsen takes us through China's illustrious past by focusing on each of its historical dynasties.

Ming Dynasty Map