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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
Covered Jar
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), Jiajing era, 1522 - 1566
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze enamels (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm)including cover; D. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The bold treatment and lively movement of the fish and aquatic plants painted on this large covered jar typify a new aesthetic in early 16th-century ceramics inscribed with imperial reign marks, which in this case is the six-character mark of the Ming emperor Jiajing. Jars of this type are more heavily potted than other pieces that bear imperial marks, probably because of their relatively large size and because they are generally believed to have been used as outdoor decoration in gardens. The aquatic scene of goldfish swimming in their natural habitat can be understood as a symbol of harmony. This style of painting in which overglaze enamels and underglaze blue are combined is known as wucai or "five-color" decoration.
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