Ming dynasty, Hsuan-te mark and period, 1426-35, from kilns at Ching-te Chen, Kiangsi province
Porcelain painted in underglaze blue; h. 19 in. (48.3 cm)
The porcelains of the Ming dynasty have attained such recognition in the West that "Ming" has almost become the generic name for anything ceramic fabricated in China before the twentieth century. While, unhappily, many of the pieces called "Ming" have no claim to that attribution, the porcelains that were produced during the period are among the most beautiful and exciting to emerge from China's kilns. In many respects the blue-and-white porcelains of the early fifteenth century illustrate these wares at their apogee. They combine the freedom and energy of a newly ripened art form with the sophistication of concept and mastery of execution that come with maturity. The highest traditions of early Ming-dynasty brushwork are represented in the bristling dragon on this marvelous jar. Flying amid cloud forms, he moves around the jar with total power and consummate grace. Flanked by the heads of fearsome monsters is an inscription with the reign title of the incumbent emperor, Hsaan-te (1426-35). Gift of Robert E. Tod, 1937, 37.191.1
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Ming dynasty jar
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, 1983 page 116.