Incredible but true, Shanghai has one of the most extensive Art Déco landscapes in the world and hosts the largest number of Liberty style buildings in all of Asia. At the end of the ‘20s, the largest project in the style of the Belle Époque was conceived in Shanghai. It was known as The Greater Shanghai Plan - an audacious utopian plan, born of an ambitious ideal of giving an egalitarian and dignified life to all Chinese citizens while projecting Shanghai, the eternal city, into the future. It focused on the Northern part of the city which, at the start of the 1900s, was already a remarkable cosmopolitan melting pot, marked by intense contrasts between rich and poor. The staff of urbanists and architects of The Greater Shanghai Plan were, in fact, themselves a surprising mix of Americans, Germans and Chinese. The plan was inspired by the book Garden Cities of Tomorrow, published in 1902 by British expert Ebenezer Howard. The project was begun officially in 1931, but was abandoned in 1937 when war broke out. Of that “spirit of a new age”, there are very few but magnificent buildings left, that of the City Hall, for instance. A remnant - somewhat nostalgic, yet singular and fascinating - of a broken dream.
The new Year of the Dragon (Jiachen) is traditionally considered extraordinary and beneficial. A major exhibition at the Shanghai Museum celebrates this mythical creature that has figured in Chinese folk legends for millennia.
More than 300 portraits created by over 200 Chinese and international artists, covering a span of 130 years from the end of the 19th century to the present day. A journey that illustrates the evolution of the portrait in art according to different times, regions and schools.
The exhibition brings together eighteen authentic treasures of Italian Renaissance art together with an equal number of ancient Chinese paintings. The works include Leonardo's oil painting La Scapiliata and eleven sheets of his manuscript Codex Atlanticus, as well as two precious sketches by Michelangelo.
With over 60 authentic works on display, including 6 iconic masterpieces by Caravaggio and others by over 40 Baroque artists, the exhibition presents a remarkably comprehensive picture of Italian Baroque art.