Asia Society Home Asia Society Home
< previous  9 of 14  next >
enlarge image map of region
Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
Han Dynasty Bronzes
Early Chinese Ceramics
Sculpture from Tombs
Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Tang and Liao Dynasty Metalwork
Ceramics of the Song and Jin Periods
Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods
Imperial Chinese Ceramics of the 15th Century
Ceramics of the Late Ming Period
Qing Dynasty Porcelain
Landscape Painting in China
Jade and Lacquer in China
Foliate Dish
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), early 15th century (probably Yongle era, 1403 - 1424)
Porcelain with incised design under glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 1 in. (2.5 cm); D. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Recent excavations at the imperial kilns have determined that porcelain covered with a warm white glaze were among the most popular ceramics produced during the reign of the Yongle emperor, the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. This small dish with a foliate rim typifies the white wares produced during this period. An extremely delicate pattern of grapes is incised into the interior of the dish, and flowers and clouds decorate the exterior of the rim. Difficult to see at first glance, decoration of this type is often termed anhua or "hidden decoration." Hidden decoration was very popular in the early Ming period, at least in part because of Yongle's taste for plain white wares. Several reason's have been proposed to explain Yongle's preference, which represented quite a change from the taste for brightly colored underglaze blue and copper-red wares of the late 14th century. White is the color of filial piety and mourning, and it is possible Yongle's choice was partially intended to mitigate the circumstances under which he came to rule. Yongle spent the first four years of his reign grieving for the father whose wishes he had ignored when he usurped the throne.
Home |  South Asia |  Himalaya |  Southeast Asia |  China & Mongolia |  Korea |  Japan
Treasures |  Guided Tour |  Timeline |  Search
About the Asia Society | The Rockefellers and the Asia Society | Site Map
Credits | ©Copyright 2007 Asia Society