Asia Society Home Asia Society Home
< previous  6 of 16  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
Carinated Bowl
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), Xuande era, 1426 - 1435
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue and copper red (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 3 in. (7.6 cm); D. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The six-character reign mark on the interior of this small bowl reads, "made during the Xuande reign of the great Ming dynasty" (da Ming Xuande nian zhi). The bowl originally had a cover, and its shape suggests that it once may have been part of a larger set of dishes for dining. Two different underglaze colors were used to paint the motif of dragons (copper red) chasing flaming pearls among waves (cobalt blue) on the exterior of the bowl. The combination of cobalt blue and copper red indicates that this bowl was considered a particularly luxurious piece, while the depiction of the dragons as having five claws shows that it was intended for the use of the emperor. Although dragons had long been used as symbols of imperial power in China, in the 15th century the motif of a dragon chasing a pearl became a prominent imperial symbol in the arts. The flaming pearl might represent the sun or the moon -- either would be an appropriate symbol of the power of the emperor.
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