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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
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China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), Chenghua era, 1465 - 1487
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); D. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
This thin-bodied porcelain bowl decorated with precisely painted chrysanthemums belongs to a category known as "palace bowls," which are regarded as some of the most outstanding examples of the superb porcelain produced during the reign of the Chenghua emperor (reigned 1465 - 1487). The flowers and the scrolling leaves of the design have been carefully placed both to cover the exterior of the bowl and to suggest the organic movement and growth of actual plants. The flowers and leaves flow together in one continuous line, with no clear beginning or end to the pattern. This enhances the rounded shape of the bowl and continues the skillful use of the shape of a ceramic as a pictorial plane that was begun in the earlier Xuande era. The piece has the six-character reign mark of the Chenghua emperor written on its base.
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