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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
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), Xuande era, 1426 - 1435
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); D. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The Xuande era (1426 - 1435) saw the development of themes that reflect the interests of the scholar-gentleman class. For example, the imagery painted on the side of this large, shallow bowl represents the Four Gentlemanly Accomplishments: calligraphy, painting, music, and chess. On the bowl, they are practiced by figures in a garden set against a background of distant mountains that skillfully suggests the view from a terrace. Each of the accomplishments is presented as a vignette within the overall composition, with plants, rocks, and trees separating the scenes from one another. Although the theme reflects the activities of the educated male elite, the clothing and hairstyles of the figures here indicate that they are women -- which gives an unusual twist to this standard theme. The six-character Xuande reign mark is written on the base of the bowl.
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