The Palace Museum in Beijing, world-renowned as the largest museum in China, was originally an imperial palace in both the Ming and Qing Dynasties (A.D. 1368 – 1911), known as the Forbidden City. The Palace Museum is also the nation's most important treasure house that boasts its collection of over one million pieces of valuable objects of art and relics. The treasures were mainly from the imperial collection of the Ming and Qing Dynasties' emperors, with some being handed down from the other dynasties as early as the Northern Song Dynasty.
Chances are rare for ordinary people to view these treasures and even who pay a visit the Museum personally will only have a glimpse at a very tiny percentage of the whole collection. "The Palace Museum's Essential Collection" with its 60 volumes in Chinese and 10 volumes in English is the only pictorial that represents the Palace Museum of China. It depicts ten thousands of pieces of highly treasured Chinese cultural relics, including the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties over a stretch of 500 years and some newly unearthed prize items scarcely known to the public.
The publication of "The Palace Museum's Essential Collection" is a thorough revelation of the abundant artistic resources and achievement in cultural relic studies. More importantly, the set serves to open the door to Oriental Art for the international cultural exchanges and provide a chance for those connoisseurs around the world to appreciate and study Chinese cultural relics.